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Slime mold with little insects on top. C. fruticulosa is a whitish and translucent organism with tiny, erect, branched or simple structures. It resembles a coral or small icicles. They are with a fuzzy appearance because they produce their spores on their outside surfaces. While not fungi, slime molds often form spore-bearing structures that resemble those of the true fungi. Slime molds form structures called plasmodia which are naked (without cell walls) masses of protoplasm which can move and engulf particles of food in an amoeboid manner. Slime mold plasmodia creep about over the surfaces of materials, engulfing bacteria, spores of fungi and plants, protozoa, and particles of nonliving organic matter. At some point, plasmodia convert into spore-bearing structures. In Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa, the plasmodium converts into a clustered mass of stalks bearing spores on their surfaces. There is evidence that the spores are actually one-celled sporangia.
Spotted on dead pine wood. Evergreen oak and pine tree forest.
Camera Model: NIKON D300. Exposure Time: 1/60 sec. f/32; ISO Speed Rating: 1000. Exposure Bias: 0 EV. Focal Length: 90.0 mm.