Pheasant Back Mushroom
Pittsford, Vermont, USA
The pheasant back mushroom, also commonly known as dryads saddle, is named for the overlapping pattern of scales on its upper cap surface which resembles the feathers of a pheasant. Closer inspection of the underside reveals tiny holes called pores. The pores are the openings of tubes that produce the spores, or reproductive cells, of the fungus. Like gills, tubes are an advantageous adaptation, serving to increase the surface area by which the mushroom can produce spores, thereby upping its success of passing along genetic material to a new generation.