(pl. descriptions, diagnoses)
Terms discussed: diagnostic
Diagnoses and descriptions are two ways to give you information about a fungus.
A description is a complete listing of all the fungus' features.
A diagnosis lists only the features that make this particular fungus different from the other ones that you are discussing.
Most field guides give descriptions of the "main" fungi in the book, and then diagnoses distinguishing each of these fungi from its most common lookalikes.
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The features that distinguish one mushroom from another are called diagnostic.