Russula caerulea: the humpback brittlegill

I am always nervous when I start to research and learn about new fungi prior to writing my nature note to summarise what I have found out. Why? Because true fungus identification means picking a specimen, turning it up side down to look at the underside, smelling it, possibly even tasting it, may be pulling it apart. I just cannot do that, I feel it has a right to its own life and I should leave it where it is. It is a personal thing I would certainly not criticise anyone for examining a specimen really closely, especially in the name of science.
So, with some trepidation I name this species the humpback brittlegill (Russula caerulea) and now await someone telling me its not! The russulas are very difficult to identify without the close examination I described above but most species of the family have a dimple in the top of the cap whilst the humpback has a small hump on its back! It is found in pine forests in late summer and early autumn so that fits with where and when I took this photograph.
It has a bitter taste so not one for the frying pan.
Russula caerulea: the humpback brittlegill

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