White dung beetle (Coprinus comatus) photo and description

White dung beetle (Coprinus comatus)

  • Department: Basidiomycota (Basidiomycetes)
  • Subdivision: Agaricomycotina (Agaricomycetes)
  • Class: Agaricomycetes (Agaricomycetes)
  • Subclass: Agaricomycetidae (Agaricomycetes)
  • Order: Agaricales (Agaric or Lamellar)
  • Family: Coprinaceae (Coprinaceae or Dung)
  • Genus: Coprinus (Dung or Coprinus)
  • Species: Coprinus comatus (White dung)
    Other names for the mushroom:
  • Ink mushroom


Ink mushroom

Dung beetle white

Dung beetle (Latin Coprinus comatus ) is a mushroom of the genus Dung (Latin Coprinus) of the Dung family.


Height 5-12 cm, shaggy, white, at first fusiform, then bell-shaped, practically does not straighten. There is usually a darker bump in the center of the cap, which, like the captain, is the last to disappear when the cap of the mushroom comes out on the ink. The smell and taste are pleasant.


Frequent, free, white, turn pink with age, then turn black and turn into "ink", which is characteristic of almost all dung beetles.

Spore powder:

The black.


Length up to 15 cm, thickness 1-2 cm, white, hollow, fibrous, relatively thin, with a white movable ring (not always clearly visible).


White dung is found from May to autumn, sometimes in enchanting quantities, in fields, vegetable gardens, orchards, lawns, in garbage dumps, dumps, dung heaps, as well as along roads. Occasionally comes across in the forest.

Similar species:

White dung beetle (Coprinus comatus) is almost impossible to confuse with anything.


Great mushroom. However, it should be remembered that you can only pick mushrooms that have not yet begun to fulfill their Great Mission - to self-digest, to turn into ink. The plates must be white. True, nowhere is it said what will happen if you eat (eat, as they say in special publications) a dung beetle that has already started the autolysis process. However, there are hardly anyone willing. It is believed that white dung is edible only at a young age, before the staining of the plates begins, no later than two days after it emerged from the soil. It is necessary to process it no later than 1-2 hours after collection, since the autolysis reaction continues even in frozen mushrooms. It is recommended to pre-boil it as conditionally edible, although there are claims that the mushroom is edible even in its raw form.It is also not recommended to mix dung beetles with other mushrooms.

It should also be noted that according to scientific data, garbage saprophytes like dung beetles with special enthusiasm pull all kinds of harmful products of human activity from the soil. Consequently, dung bears cannot be collected in the city, as well as near highways.

By the way, it was previously believed that Coprinus comatus contains substances incompatible with alcohol, and therefore, in a sense, poisonous (although, for that matter, alcohol itself is poisonous, not a mushroom). Now it is already quite obvious that this is not so, although sometimes this old delusion comes up in the literature. Many other dung beetles like Gray (Coprinus atramentarius) or Shimmering (Coprinus micaceus) are advocating a healthy lifestyle, although this is not certain. But White Dung, fortunately or unfortunately, is deprived of this property. That's for sure.


I have many childhood memories associated with the dung beetle. In the second class, in the fall, I somehow unexpectedly became a big enthusiast of "city mushrooms", spending whole days in search of dung beetles and champignons. I knew all the yards in my neighborhood, I had a lot of volunteers. They laughed at me, of course, but for some reason they willingly helped.

At home my inclinations were fully supported. Oddly enough, in terms of mushrooms, they completely trusted me even then, and every autumn for several years in a row dung beetles and, less often, champignons appeared on our table. Dung beetles stewed in sour cream with cheese on top - it's impossible to forget. How I started to collect them and why I stopped - I definitely don't remember, but dung beets in sour cream ...