Conocybe is a fairly large genus with over 50 species in North America alone. At least one species in this genus, Conocybe filaris (= Pholiotina filaris), is deadly poisonous. Conocybes are often called dunce caps or cone heads because they usually have a conical or bell-shaped cap. They are mostly fragile, often ephemeral, Mycena-like mushrooms with a long, thin and fragile stem and rusty-brown to ochre-brown spores. Conocybes are largely differentiated on microscopic characters. They are sometimes confused with genus Psilocybe mushrooms, but have brighter brown spores. Among the brown-spored mushrooms, they are easily to be confused with Bolbitius, which usually have a distinctly viscid, striate cap, and Galerina, which have a filamentous rather than cellular cap cuticle (it looks like weaved fibers under the microscope whereas those of Conocybe are composed of inflated round cells resembling cobblestones) and an often viscid and/or translucent-striate cap. These mushrooms are partial to warm weather and fruit in great abundance on watered lawns. Some, such as Conocybe lactea, are so frail that they shrivel up or topple over a few hours after appearing.

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