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natural history: myxomycota

tasmanian acellular slime moulds

Once classified together with fungi the acellular slime moulds have now been hived off to a kingdom of their own, the Protozoa, which they share in common with the microscopic diatoms as well as the red, green and brown algaes (including kelps some of which grow to 60 m). One obvious difference between the two kingdoms is that moulds are able to move, however slow their progress (reported to be 1 mm/hour), and fungi are not.

While slime moulds are not altogether rare it does take a good eye to focus upon specimens. Both Fuligo septica and Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa are reported to be fairly common - we sight them occasionally on the Blue Tier. We have no clue on the status of the others since we have not been able to identify many at this stage. As far as we are aware there has been no exhaustive study of moulds in Australia.

mould 81202B
81202B
substrate: rotting wood
Fuligo septica
Fuligo septica
substrate: debris on soil
Fuligo septica
Fuligo septica
substrate: rotting wood
mould 81202A
81202A
substrate: rotting wood
Fuligo septica
Fuligo septica
substrate: pine stump
mould 80925C
80925C
substrate: fallen leaf
mould 81217
81217
substrate: log
mould 90418
90418
substrate: log
Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa
Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa
substrate: rotting wood
Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa
Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa
at higher magnification
Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa
Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa
substrate: rotting log
90907B
Mucilago crustacea
substrate: aerial litter
Mould 90926A
90926A
substrate: rotting wood
Fuligo septica
Fuligo septica
substrate: ground litter
Fuligo septica
F. septica
close-up of previous
Lycogala epidendrum
Lycogala epidendrum
substrate: base of tree
Stemonitis sp.
Stemonitis sp.
substrate: rotting wood
Stemonitis sp.
Stemonitis sp.
same several hours later
Arcyria sp.
Arcyria sp.
substrate: rotting wood
Diderma cf niveum
Diderma cf niveum
substrate: rotting wood
Metatrichia floriformis
Metatrichia floriformis
substrate: rotting wood
Metatrichia floriformis spores
M. floriformis
spores of previous
Tubifera rufofulva
Tubifera rufofulva
substrate: burnt log
110718
110718
substrate: rotting log

 

We have a page of sequential images of Mucilago crustacea taken over seven days.

Literature
- Lloyd, S, Where the slime mould creeps, ISBN 9780646924519 is a recent book on Tasmanian slime moulds available from Fungimap

Web
- Disjunct Naturalists has some local information on Tasmanian slime moulds
- Discover Life has an extensive collection of slime mould images
- University of Arkansas has an useful introductory article on slime moulds as a .pdf file (2.5MB)
- University of Hawaii has an introductory page on myxomycota
- The Hidden Forest of New Zealand has many identified moulds on their site
- The Russians have provided some beautiful images of slime moulds. WARNING: the webpage contains 33 images totalling 5.3MB.

Page URL: http://www.bluetier.org/nature/moulds.htm

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