The genus Amanita has been divided into two monophyletic taxa, Amanita, an ectomycorrhizal genus, and Aspidella, a saprotrophic genus. The controversies and histories about recognition of the two genera based on trophic status are discussed. The name Aspidella E.-J. Gilbert is shown to be illegitimate and a later homonym of Aspidella E. Billings, a well-known generic name for an enigmatic fossil sometimes classified as a fungus or alga. The name Saproamanita is coined to replace Aspidella E.-J. Gilbert for the saprotrophic Amanitas, and a selection of previously molecularly analyzed species and closely classified grassland species are transferred to it along with selected similar taxa. The type illustration for the type species, S. vittadinii, is explained and a subgeneric classification accepting Amanita subgen. Amanitina and subgen. Amanita is proposed. Validation of the family name, Amanitaceae E.-J. Gilbert dating from 1940, rather than by Pouzar in 1983 is explained.
Keywords: Agaricales; Agaricomycotina; Basidiomycota; Ediacaran; controversy; fossil; fungi; monophyly; mushroom; mycorrhizas; nomenclature; phylogeny.