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Wolf's Milk slime mold

Lycogala epidendrum

Description:

Small nodules (4-6 mm), with a dull, dark brown color and a leathery skin. These appeared to grow from cracks along the grain in an old, rotting log. When pressed, the fruiting body expelled a smoky cloud of spores. (Whitish spore material is visible in the third photo.)

Habitat:

Mixed hardwood forest in the central Appalachian Mountains. Found growing from cracks in dead wood. The species name epidendrum means "from or of wood."

Notes:

Although these appear to be a fungus, they are actually a slime mold. The berry-like nodules are the fruiting bodies formed from an aggregation of plasmodial, single-celled organisms. These fruiting bodies are old. When younger they can appear pale to dark pink and ooze a pinkish slime if ruptured. Also called Groening's slime or toothpaste slime.

No species ID suggestions

West Virginia, USA

Lat: 38.28, Long: -81.72

Spotted on Nov 23, 2014
Submitted on Nov 24, 2014

Spotted for mission

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Wolf's milk Wolf's Milk Wolf's Milk Lycogala epidendrum

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