The Mycenaceae family consists of white-spored saprotrophic fungi that are diistributed througout the planet in a variety of ecological communities. Four of its ten or more genera are represented below, including MycenaPanellus, Tectella and Xeromphalina. The majority of fungi in this family grow gregariously.   There are numerous Mycena species in our region of North America. Some are relatively easy to identify by sight, while others that are shades of brown and/or gray can be confusing and difficult to determine without examining morphological details of the mushroom, including the spores, under the microscope. Many grow from rotting wood, while others feed on leaf, needle and other types of forest litter. A few ‘bleed’ a red liquid from their flesh, gills and hollow stems. Generally they are small, rather fragile and quickly decomposeThey are most often confused with Marasmius mushrooms, which are also relatively small and dainty-looking. Species of Marasmius, however, tend to have sturdy stems that do not break easily. Many species of Panellus have a pleurotoid growth habit on wood. Species of Xeromphalina are quite small and beautiful. To see enlarged versions of each photo represented in this family, click on the first photo and then click on the textual links above each photo to get to the next one.