The lobster mushroom is a vivid red-orange fungus, and the product of a joint effort between a host mushroom (usually a Russula or Lactarius) and a parasite that attacks and transforms the host into an excellent edible mushroom-like fungus. Care must be taken as warnings exist in the guidebooks, stating that the host mushroom can be poisonous. Pickers should identify the mushrooms surrounding the lobster mushroom in order to establish the identity of the host. The lobster mushroom has a florescent, orange, crusty exterior and a firm and sweet flavour. Before its transformation, the host mushroom is usually a large white gilled specimen.