Gray dung beetle (Coprinopsis atramentaria) photo and description

Gray dung beetle (Coprinopsis atramentaria)

  • Department: Basidiomycota (Basidiomycetes)
  • Subdivision: Agaricomycotina (Agaricomycetes)
  • Class: Agaricomycetes (Agaricomycetes)
  • Subclass: Agaricomycetidae (Agaricomycetes)
  • Order: Agaricales (Agaric or Lamellar)
  • Family: Psathyrellaceae (Psatirellaceae)
  • Genus: Coprinopsis (Koprinopsis)
  • Species: Coprinopsis atramentaria (Gray dung)


  • Coprinus atramentarius

  • Ink pot

  • Ink mushroom gray

Dunghill gray

Gray dungweed (Latin Coprinopsis atramentaria ) is a fungus of the genus Coprinopsis of the Psathyrellaceae family.

Dung beetle cap:

The shape is ovoid, later it becomes bell-shaped. The color is gray-brown, usually darker in the center, covered with small scales, radical fiber is often noticeable. The height of the cap is 3-7 cm, the width is 2-5 cm.


Frequent, loose, at first white-gray, then darkening and eventually blurring in ink.

Spore powder:

The black.


10-20 cm long, 1-2 cm in diameter, white, fibrous, hollow. The ring is missing.


Gray dung grows from spring to autumn in grass, on stumps of deciduous trees, on fertilized soils, along the edges of roads, in gardens, garbage dumps, etc., often in large groups.

Similar species:

There are other similar dung beetles, but the size of Coprinus atramentarius does not allow it to be confused with any other species. All the others are much smaller.


Without exception, all sources indicate that gray dung beetle contains substances incompatible with alcohol: the use of alcoholic beverages in conjunction with mushrooms, and also after that causes mild poisoning. For non-drinkers, the mushroom is quite good, although only young specimens are considered suitable for consumption. However, this is postulated for all dung beetles.


In my opinion, the gray dung beetle is far from the white one, Coprinus comatus. And yet the vicious charm of a garbage mushroom is inherent in no small degree to him. There is something special in all these shameless saprophytes ...

By the way, unlike the white dung beetle, Coprinus atramentarius is not so strongly attached to the product after which the genus Coprinus was named. Gray dung beetle can be found on old rotten stumps, around old trees, and in the forest. That summer I watched an amazing picture: on an old, old overgrown clearing, along which no one ever traveled or even walked (there is no path on it, it goes from nowhere to nowhere, there is absolutely no one to walk there) I came across a funny patch. On several square meters, in the grass and thorns, they grew: Coprinus atramentarius (in fact, the title photo of the “happy shamrock” is from there), some very large Conocybe, or mycena, you can't understand, then something resembling psatirella by description gray-brown and somewhat smaller mitcens. Not behindI didn’t come across anything interesting ahead for many hundreds of meters, but here it’s like that. Where did it come from? Maybe someone secretly fertilized this unnamed place? Have you brought a wheelbarrow of dung? In theory, of course, it is possible ...