Slime mould on silver birch trunk

Not technically fungi, but often lumped together with fungi
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jimmymac2
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Slime mould on silver birch trunk

Post by jimmymac2 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:57 pm

Hello

This afternoon I found lots of these slime moulds growing all over a fallen silver birch trunk. They had the general look of a Lycogala species although they seemed a little smaller. Also, they appear to be borne on distinguishable stems which I don't think Lycogala species are. Brownish-grey, with the spores a rich light brown. I have a few fruit bodies if further examination is necessary.

Thanks

James
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Lancashire Lad
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Re: Slime mould on silver birch trunk

Post by Lancashire Lad » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:29 pm

Hi,

I'm thinking that what you have here is not a slime mould, but Phleogena faginea - Fenugreek Stalkball.

I've never actually seen it - and it is not common at all, so, nice find if it is!

As you mention that you have collected some, then I'd suggest drying it.

Apparently, P.faginea has a very strong spicy smell when dried.

See: - https://www.jeremybartlett.co.uk/2017/1 ... a-faginea/ (for a good description).

and: - https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/203926 ... wse_photos (for lots of good photos)

Regards,
Mike.
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Re: Slime mould on silver birch trunk

Post by jimmymac2 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:37 pm

Wow! It really does have a very distinctive smell, definitely reminds me of curry powder as mentioned in the first link! I'll record it on the FRDBI, I wasn't expecting it to be something unusual.

I have another fruit body that I'm fairly sure is a myxo this time - growing on rotting wood. I took a couple of these fruit bodies too if required. Do you have any thoughts on this one?

Thanks a lot

James
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Re: Slime mould on silver birch trunk

Post by Lancashire Lad » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:46 pm

Hi James,

Nice to know that my suggestion is looking good!

As for your myxo, I strongly suspect it will be one of the Comatricha species - maybe Comatricha nigra
(which it definitely has the looks of, and which is very common).

However, I'd still say that you would have to do the microscopy on this to be 100% certain.

Regards,
Mike.
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Re: Slime mould on silver birch trunk

Post by jimmymac2 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:51 pm

Thanks Mike, it certainly does look like a good match. Is the microscopy to confirm this species easy? I don't have much experience with what's needed to confirm myxos. It was found today so it's possible that the specimens I collected may not be completely mature yet.

James
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Re: Slime mould on silver birch trunk

Post by Lancashire Lad » Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:04 pm

Hi James,

If it is C.nigra, the microscopy should be pretty easy, as all you really need to check is that the spores, which look brown under transmitted light of a microscope, are spherical, about 9-10µm in diameter, and faintly warted or nearly smooth.

Several good photos of C.nigra spores come up when you do an image websearch, so it should be easy enough to get an idea of what you would be looking for.

You are correct that your find is not yet fully mature though, and you would need to get it to full maturity before being able to check the spores.

I'll put some images below, of what it looks like as it matures - the final image shows empty sporangia after all the spores have blown away!

Regards,
Mike.
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Comatricha nigra 01a 191111.jpg
Comatricha nigra 01b 191111.jpg
Comatricha nigra 01c 191111.jpg
Comatricha nigra 01d 191111.jpg
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