Yellow slime mould (mold) fruiting bodies
Contributor:Denis Crawford / Alamy Stock Photo
File size:34.5 MB (1 MB Compressed download)
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Dimensions:4256 x 2831 px | 36 x 24 cm | 14.2 x 9.4 inches | 300dpi
Date taken:21 August 2010
Location:Pomonal, Victoria, Australia
Slime moulds are surprisingly common and may be found on rotting logs, leaf litter, mulch and grasses in gardens, where they are given dubious common names like “dog vomit mould”. They used to be described as fungi but are now in a plant kingdom all of their own – Mycetozoa. Slime moulds are usually noticed when fruiting bodies (sporangia) are produced. These fruiting bodies contain spores and may be grey, yellow, purple or red in colour depending on the species. Spores are released from the sporangia and hatch into amoeba-like cells which reproduce, mate and form into a mass called a plasmodium. This is when it gets really weird, because this slimy mass can actually move, albeit at slower than a snail's pace. This slow slimy movement has spawned many a horror movie! The plasmodium feeds on decaying matter, bacteria and fungi as it slides about, and when it runs out of food it produces fruiting bodies.