Ruddy bolete

Rubroboletus rhodoxanthus


Црвено-жолт вргањ



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Assessment info
Habitat and Ecology
Use and Trade
Conservation Actions


Scientific name

Rubroboletus rhodoxanthus


(Krombh.) Kuan Zhao & Zhu L. Yang


Boletus sanguineus var. rhodoxanthus Krombh.

Boletus rhodoxanthus (Krombh.) Kallenb

Assessment info

IUCN Red List Category and Criteria

VU – Vulnerable C2a(i)

Date assessed

November 2020


Tofilovska, S.


Kost, G.

Mešić, A.


Karadelev, M.

Rusevska, K.

Jovanovski, T.


Miskovic, M.


Rubroboletus rhodoxanthus occurs in broadleaf forests, forming ectomycorrhiza more commonly with Fagus sylvatica but also with Quercus spp., with preference for calcareous sandy or sandy loam soils. It has been recorded at 31 sites in the country, broadly dispersed in 17 biogeographic regions. The probable total number of sites is up to 155, and an estimate can be made of ca. 1,860–3,100 mature individuals with only a few individuals per subpopulation. An ongoing decline in population size is due to deforestation leading to diminished habitat quality. The species is consequently assessed as Vulnerable under C2a(i) criterion.


Current population trend



At the observed sites, the species is reported as rare with only a few mature individuals per subpopulation. According to the instructions for estimation of mature individuals provided by Dahlberg and Mueller (2011), an estimate can be made of ca. 1.860–3.100 based on the probable total number of sites in the country (ca. 93–155), the estimated number of functional individuals at each locality (estimated to be two), and the template of how many mature individuals each reproducing genotype may give rise to (the template used ten).

Based on forest management and the effects of habitat destruction, largely by logging activities, the quality of the appropriate habitat is continuously declining, leading to a population decline of this ectomycorrhizal species.

Habitat and Ecology



Habitat and Ecology

Rubroboletus rhodoxanthus is found in broadleaf forests forming ectomycorrhiza more frequently with Fagus sylvatica but also with Quercus spp., with preference for calcareous sandy or sandy loam soils. Suitable environment is old, sunny, semi-open forests, and it is rarely found in coppice forest. The species produces sporocarps from mid-summer to mid-autumn.

It is registered at 31 sites in the country, broadly dispersed in 17 biogeographic regions (Melovski et al. 2013), at elevations ranging between 600–1,400 m. Three of the known sites are located in Mavrovo National Park in the zone for sustainable use. Although the species is conspicuous, it is not so well-known as the edible Butiriboletus regius and the poisonous R. satanas, and it has not been reported as much. Additionally, R. rhodoxanthus grows in broadleaf forests, beech and oak, which are the prevailing types of forests in the country. Thus, an estimation of probable sites was made (Dahlberg and Mueller 2011): the total number of sites is guesstimated to be by 3 to 5 times higher than the current number, resulting in a maximum of 155 sites.

Use and trade

Use and trade

It is generally regarded as a poisonous mushroom that causes gastrointestinal inflammation, resulting in diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal pain (Hall 2003). The species is neither used nor is it a subject of trade.



The species is principally threatened by loss and fragmentation of beech and oak forests down to logging and deforestation. In line with available statistics data and publications, 91% of the total forest covered area in North Macedonia is managed, and most of it (93%) is regarded as productive forest whereas the remaining area is also managed only with a restriction in regard to the logging system (Trajkov et al. 2016, Kolevska et al. 2017). In practice, the silvicultural system has clear-cutting in and oak forest, and at places of beech forests too; as a result bare lands and even-aged forests are created while old growth forests are in decline (Trajkov et al. 2016, pers. obs.). Annually ca. 1% of forests are logged (Kolevska et al. 2017, State Statistics Office 2018), and illegal logging is considerably high, with additional 30% to legal wood extraction. Therefore, the quality of the appropriate habitat is in continuous decline, posing a major threat to maintenance of a stable population.

Decline in health of forest stands, due to diseases on Fagus sylvatica and Quercus spp. with varying degrees of intensity, have been reported (DPRS 2019). Diseases of oak stands are primarily caused by Euproctis chrysorrhoe L., Lymantria dispar L. and species of the family Tortricidae, while on beech trees by Rhynchaenus fagi L. (DPRS 2019).

Another threat is the destruction of fruit bodies while foraging edible species.

Conservation actions

Conservation actions

Conservation needed: The already known sites must be protected against utilisation of the ectomycorrhizal partner, and they should be preserved in their natural condition. Due to the type of silvicultural management of oak forest (Trajkov et al. 2016), in order to maintain a good habitat quality, it is vital to constitute forest reserves with maintenance of semi-open conditions at certain places and practice oak recruitment. At places of logging activities, instead of clear-cutting, trees of various age should be left on site.

Research needed: Regular monitoring on an annual basis at the established sites, coupled with field research at potential sites in order to explore the distribution and dynamics of occurrence of Rubroboletus rhodoxanthus. Assessment of forest health and, if required, undertaking essential measures to preserve the health of forest stands. It is advisable to digitize and regularly update forest inventories and forestry plans. There is a necessity of elaboration of a habitat map.



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