Coprinus comatus (commonly known as Lawyer's Wig), is from Family Coprinaceae. It is a common fungus found in bare soil, grass and mulch, either singularly or in groups.
A tall cylindrical whitish cap, covered in brown-tipped white scales, sits atop a white, erect, hollow stem up to 150mm high. The cap often widens to bell-shaped with maturity. There is a white, moveable ring low on the stem.
Gills start out cream, turning pale brown, then very quickly blackening, and liquifying to a black slimy patch on the substrate.
A fresh specimen of Coprinus comatus
A close-up showing the shaggy cap and the size
A young buff-coloured specimen with cream gills
The moveable ring
Brown gills turning black from the edge of the cap
(Notice the stem narrows towards the top)
Stage one of liquification - turning up at rim of
cap (notice the small fly that would spread spores)
. . . . . next, the stem may collapse as the cap continues
to liquify . . . . .
. . . . . and liquifies to a black slimy blob . . . . .
. . . . . until all that remains is dismembered stems and a black mess on the substrate (Note: the liquification decomposition is a swift process of only a couple of hours)
My sightings of Coprinus comatus
[This will be updated with more sightings]
Australian Wetlands (Shortland) - Jun 2009
Note: This fungus is reportedly edible before it begins to liquify, but as I am not at all adventurous in cooking and/or eating wild collected fungi, I am unable to testify to its palatability. If readers who have eaten Coprinus comatus would like to leave a comment regarding this, I would be most appreciative.
Here is another of my life-cycle study entries
of a Coprinus species: