Novel diversity in Lactifluus section Gerardii from Asia: five new species with pleurotoid or small agaricoid basidiocarps

The ectomycorrhizal milkcap genus Lactifluus (Russulaceae) is commonly found in tropical and subtropical forests of Southeast Asia. During several sampling expeditions in Thailand, multiple collections of Lactifluus (Lf.) species with pleurotoid or small agaricoid basidiocarps were found. A molecular study was combined with a morphological study, in which the collections were compared with herbarium material. The molecular study indicated that four Thai collections belonged to undescribed species within Lactifluus section Gerardii, as was also the case for herbarium collections of a pleurotoid species from Nepal. One other collection from Thailand appeared closely related to Lf. uyedae, known only from Japan. Five species are described as new in the genus: Lf. auriculiformis, Lf. gerardiellus, Lf. bhandaryi, Lf. pulchrellus, and Lf. raspei.