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dog vomit slime mold

fuligo septica (matured)

Description:

They're not mushrooms--in fact, they're not even fungi--but they do wind up on a mushroomer's radar screen with some frequency, usually as "sporangia" (see below). Is it a puffball? Is it a sickening mass of jellylike globules? Why am I taking a picture of this? -----. . . and so on. Obviously, if you want good information about slime molds, you'll need to go elsewhere on the Internet. I just checked for "SlimeMoldExpert.Com" and got nothing--but see the links at the bottom of this page. If you are a slime mold expert, please try not to laugh as I stumble through a brief description of the slime mold life cycle. ---Plasmodium:This stage is the creepy stage. Like something out of a B-movie, the slime mold plasmodium is a mass of glistening veinlike material that creeps across dead leaves or wood at the rate of as much as an inch per hour, growing, eating, and probably doing other nasty things we don't even want to know about. There are no cell walls in the plasmodium, and its motion is the result of protoplasm flowing rhythmically through the organism. ( http://www.mushroomexpert.com/myxomycete... )

Habitat:

Scientific name: Fuligo septica (L.) Wigg. Derivation of name: Synonyms: Common name(s): Scrambled-egg slime. Phylum: Myxomycota Order: Physarales Family: Physaraceae Occurrence on wood substrate: Occurring as slimy to crust-like sheets or cushion-like iregular masses on stumps, logs, living plants, and wood mulches in landscapes; May through October. Dimensions: Masses are 2.5 to 20 cm long, almost as wide, and 1-3 cm thick. Description: This slime mold first appears as a white to yellow slimy mass with dimensions as given. The "flesh" transforms into a crusty, cake-like mass of darker and variable color. The brittle crust easily breaks away to reveal a dull-black spore mass. Edibility: Inedible. Comments: Although many slime mold species fruit on wood they do not form a penetrating and absorptive mass of hyphae in the wood substrate. Rather, slime molds form structures called plasmodia which are naked (i.e., 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 Fuligo, the plasmodium converts into a cushion-shaped mass of spores enclosed by an outer wall called a peridium. This structure is called an aethalium (plural: aethalia). Fuligo septica produces the largest spore-producing structure of any known slime mold ( http://www.messiah.edu/Oakes/fungi_on_wo... )

Notes:

I'm sure you can see why I'm sort of hesitant to give up the interesting emails about this organism, but I'm sure there will be others to take their place. Incidentally there's no way to get rid of it, so I recommend you just enjoy it. Some people have written telling me they keep washing away the fruiting bodies with a hose, but that just allows the swimming spores to spread more easily. There is no known danger to humans or other animals from inhaling the spores or ingesting this organism, although I don't think you will have a pleasant dining experience if you decide to try it-- I do not recommend it. Can you believe I still get dozens of emails every year about these slime molds? I get at least 5 emails per week from people asking how to get rid of slime molds, stinkhorns, cannonball fungus, and other fungi in their mulch. You can read about this on my mulch page. I will not answer any further emails about how to get rid of fungi in your yard. THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT THEM short of paving over your yard, so you might as well find some way to enjoy it. :) I hope this page helps your enjoyment ( http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi/... )

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2 Comments

AlexKonig
AlexKonig 9 years ago

no problem, i find the site from toms volk- botit, very entertaining. the link s above, but please tell me: you dont want to get rid of a slime mold in your garden/mulch !!! :)

DonnaPomeroy
DonnaPomeroy 9 years ago

Thank you for the entertaining description. You made me read on about something I wanted to know nothing about. I now know more than I ever expected to about slime mold.

AlexKonig
Spotted by
AlexKonig

Heerlen, Limburg, Netherlands

Spotted on Oct 4, 2011
Submitted on Feb 11, 2012

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