Robert is attending Mushroom University through COMA (Connecticut Westchester Mycological Association), and the subject this year is the study of boletes. He knows the best way to learn his mushroom identifications is by photographing each species multiple times, at different stages of growth, and from many angles. Tylopilus aboater is also known as the black velvet bolete. It is very firm and solid, and from our own experiences and from those in our mushroom club, great eating. We also learned from our more experienced club members to not handle this mushroom too much, as it will stain your hands black! From MushroomExpert.com:
Ecology: Mycorrhizal with hardwoods (especially oaks); growing alone or scattered; summer and fall; widely distributed east of the Rocky Mountains.
Cap: 3-15 cm; convex, becoming broadly convex or flat; dry; velvety; sometimes with a white dusting when young; black or dark grayish brown; in my experience, often darkening on handling.
Pore Surface: Whitish becoming pinkish; bruising red, then brown to black; pores angular, 2 per mm; tubes to 1 cm deep.
Stem: 4-10 cm long; 2-4 cm thick; more or less equal, or enlarging towards base; colored like the cap or paler; sometimes with a white dusting; fairly smooth; not reticulate or merely finely so near the apex; in my experience, often darkening on handling.
Flesh: Thick and white; discoloring pinkish on exposure to air, then turning slowly grayish; black in the stem base.
Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.