Fuligo septica Cushion shaped slime mold
Here is something to look for from May onwards. This slim mold comes in a number of varieties. Fuligo septica var. candida, featured here which is completely white, Fuligo septica var. septica which is yellow, Fuligo septica var. rufa deep pink. There are others but these are the three I have encountered in this area.
Found mainly on dead wood that has moss growing on it and in my experience mainly on the end grain. The 20 to 130mm cushion shape often has a trail. The outer covering (cortex) is relatively thick and fragile but with care a little can be peeled to reveal a pink inner gelatinous substance incorporating the spores. This vegetative stage is known as the plasmodium, in this form the whole structure is capable of very slow movement, feeding by engulfing particles of decaying organic matter.
The capillitium, the gelatinous inner structure, may be white, pink or yellow and has lime in the shape of white grains distributed throughout. Some lime nodes are connected by threads known as hypha, the hypha are somewhat few in number. The gelatinous inner darkened over a 24 hour period, the cortex remaining white. The spores are subspherical and adorned with minute spines. The spores are small for the claimed variety according to one authority but others quote the same 7-9mm range for all varieties.
This species/variety was found at Yateley’s Vicarage Road Wood.
Photography Copyright retained by Ken Crick.
Jordan, M. 2004. The encyclopedia of Fungi of Britain & Europe. Frances Lincoln Ltd. pp384.
Keizer, G. 2007. The complete encyclopedia of mushrooms, Rebo International. pp286.
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Stephenson, S. Stempen, H. 2000. Myxomycetes A Handbook of Slime Molds. Timber Press. pp 183.