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Tapioca Slime Mold

Brefeldia maxima


A white plasmodial slime mold with a jelly like plasmodium and vesicular fruiting bodies (like tapioca pearls) seen as clumps on a pine tree log. Vesicles were shiny and slightly sticky. Pic #5 shows less developed vesicles but the mass was larger in size. Pic #3 shows small black ants around the vesicles. The clumps would have been about 50mm wide and 100 mm long.


Tree log - nature reserve-some moisture seen inside the log -


According to ALA, this species is not recorded here. But, I have no matches for anything in Australia, except for Ceratiomyxa fructiculosa, which has a slightly different appearance. This was spotted on Pine so I will leave it as Brefeldia for now. The ants are supposedly feeding on an exudate from the aethalium ( fruiting body). Henrik Kylin in his article, Mycologist,May 2001 states that several species of arthropods feed on this slime mold - this includes ants, moths and isopods.

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1 Comment

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 11 years ago

It is amazing how similar it looks to Tapioca which has been soake din water overnite. Good find!

Leuba Ridgway
Spotted by
Leuba Ridgway

Victoria, Australia

Spotted on Sep 19, 2012
Submitted on Sep 23, 2012

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