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Red raspberry slime

Tubulifera arachnoidea - Jacq. 1778


Scientific name: Tubifera ferruginosa (Batsch.) Gmel. Derivation of name: Ferrug- means "rusty" or "rust" and osa means "fullness" or "abundance." Synonyms: Common name(s): Red raspberry slime. Phylum: Myxomycota Order: Liceales Family: Reticulariaceae Occurrence on wood substrate: Fruitbodies crowded together and compressed, forming raspberrylike forms; June through November. Dimensions: Individual fruit bodies are less than 0.5 mm wide and are up to 3-5 mm high. Compressed clusters can be up to 15 cm or more in length. Description: When reddish in color and compressed together, the sporangia of this slime mold resemble red raspberries. The cluster soon matures into a purplish and then brownish mass at maturity resembling what Lincoff calls "a bunch of miniature cigars." Edibility: Inedible. ( )


SPOROCARPS: A pseudoaethalium composed of numerous sessile sporangia crowded together, individual sporangia cylindrical to ovate, pale umber to reddish brown or purplish brown, up to 0.4 mm in diameter and 5 mm tall with the entire structure reaching 150 mm or more in size. HYPOTHALLUS: well developed, membranous to spongy, colourless to pallid. HYPOTHALLUS: membranous, thin, persisting in mature fruiting bodies except at the individual sporangia, where it tends to break away. SPORES: Umber brown in mass, pallid by transmitted light, finely reticulated over three quarters of the surface, 6 - 8 µm in diameter. PLASMODIUM: Watery and colourless, becoming milky white then changing through rose to brown. HABITAT: Decaying wood or wood debris, occasionally on forest floor leaf litter. DISTRIBUTION: Cosmopolitan ( )


Comments: Tubifera ferruginosa is a slime mold. While not fungi, slime molds often form spore-bearing structures that resemble those of the true fungi. 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 Tubifera ferruginosa, the plasmodium converts into a clustered mass of sporangia which compress together to form what is called a pseudoaethalium. In such a structure, the individual sporangia still retain their identity but the sporangia are so tightly compressed together that they resemble an aethalium such as that formed by Fuligo septica or Lycogala epidendrum ( messiah), ( ), ( ), ( )

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1 Comment

0214125012 3 years ago

I suggest adding taxonomic classification

Spotted by

Heerlen, Limburg, Netherlands

Spotted on Dec 28, 2011
Submitted on Feb 25, 2012

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