Minnesota Slime Molds

 
No Taxonomic Rank: Slime Molds

Slime mold is a term of convenience grouping together several kinds of evolutionarily unrelated organisms. They were formerly placed in the subkingdom Gymnomycota within the Fungi kingdom, because they produce structures containing spores (sporangia). The modern classification has them divided among several supergroups. In taxonomic terms, the group slime molds is polyphyletic. The taxonomy of slime molds changes frequently—it is a work in progress.

Slime molds are characterized by the following:

  • The cell walls contain cellulose, not chitin;
  • They can live independently but can aggregate together to form multicellular reproductive structures;
  • They have both a haploid phase, in which each cell nucleus contains one chromosome for each trait, and a diploid phase, in which each cell nucleus contains two chromosomes for each trait, all the chromosomes necessary for reproduction; and
  • Their life cycle consists of a protozoa-like amoeba stage (plasmodium) and a fungus-like spore-producing stage.

red raspberry slime mold

Photo by Kirk Nelson

 

 

           

Recent Additions

 
Honeycomb coral slime mold
   

Protostelid slime molds are relatively unknown and easily overlooked. They were first recognized in the early 1960s and have been little studied since. There are 36 currently accepted species, and possibly twice that number of undescribed species. Most are microscopic. Only a few are visible to the naked eye.

Honeycomb coral slime mold (Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa) is the most commonly encountered protostelid slime mold and may be the most common slime mold of any kind in the world. It occurs on every continent except Greenland and Antarctica. It is found in forests on rotting fallen logs and branches. It can form extensive colonies one meter or more long. It is very short lived, appearing after a soaking rain and disintegrating in just a few days.

Honeycomb coral slime mold first appears as a thin, watery, translucent, mucus-like layer, creeping across the wood, engulfing bacteria, protozoa, and particles of nonliving organic matter. Eventually it fruits, forming clusters of erect, translucent columns. The columns have a frosted or powdery appearance due to a dense covering of tiny, white, spores on long, thread-like stalks.

  honeycomb coral slime mold
  Photo by Alfredo Colon
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

Wasp nest slime mold
   

Wasp nest slime mold (Metatrichia vesparium) is common and widespread. It is found in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and North and South America. In the United States it is common east of the Great Plains, including Minnesota, less common in the west. It grows in open forests on dead and rotting wood, especially hardwood.

The fruiting body may be attached directly to the substrate or rise in a densely crowded group of up to twelve on a common stalk. The individual spore-producing structures are dark red or reddish-purple to nearly black, less than in height, and about 1 32 in diameter. They are mostly cone-shaped and have a convex, shiny, iridescent, lid on top. When mature, the lid swings open like a jack-in-the-box, and the red or rust-red interior expands outward. When this dries out, the spores are disbursed by wind. Eventually, the expanded portion disintegrates. What is left looks like the nest of a paper wasp, giving this slime mold its common name.

  wasp nest slime mold
  Photo by Luciearl
   
   
   
   
   
   

Red raspberry slime mold
   

Slime mold is a term of convenience grouping together several kinds of unrelated organisms. They were formerly placed in the Fungi kingdom because they produce structures containing spores (sporangia). The modern classification has them divided among several supergroups. The taxonomy of slime molds changes frequently—it is a work in progress.

Red raspberry slime mold (Tubifera ferruginosa) is one of the most commonly encountered slime molds in woodlands. It appears from June through November as a pink to bright red, pillow-shaped, tightly-packed mass on well-rotted logs, sometimes on moss. The surface is knobby, like a raspberry. It is not edible.

  red raspberry slime mold
  Photo by Kirk Nelson
   
   
   

Other Recent Additions
  wolf’s milk slime mold

wolf’s milk slime mold (Lycogala epidendrum)

 

 

 

 
    Photo by Beth Harrington

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           
Profile Photo Video      

     

ashen slime mold (Physarum cinereum)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

honeycomb coral slime mold

 

 

red raspberry slime mold

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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wolf’s milk slime mold

     

carnival candy slime mold (Arcyria denudata)

 
     

Chinese lantern slime mold (Dictydium cancellatum)

 
     

dog sick slime mold (Mucilago crustacea)

 
     

dog vomit slime mold (Fuligo septica)

 
     

egg shell slime mold (Leocarpus fragilis)

 
     

false puffball, the (Enteridium lycoperdon)

 
Profile Photo Photo

honeycomb coral slime mold (Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa)

 
     

many-headed slime (Physarum polycephalum)

 
     

plasmodial slime mold (Dictydium cancellatum)

 
     

pretzel slime mold (Hemitrichula serpula)

 
Profile Photo Photo

red raspberry slime mold (Tubifera ferruginosa)

 
     

slime mold (Arcyria cinerea)

 
     

slime mold (Arcyria nutans)

 
     

slime mold (Badhamia utricularis)

 
     

slime mold (Comatricha typhoides)

 
     

slime mold (Cribraria intricata)

 
     

slime mold (Diachea leucopodia)

 
     

slime mold (Dictydiaethalium plumbeum)

 
     

slime mold (Hemitrichia calyculata)

 
     

slime mold (Lycogala flavofuscum)

 
     

slime mold (Physarella oblonga)

 
     

slime mold (Physarum bivalve)

 
     

slime mold (Stemonitis axifera)

 
     

slime mold (Trichia favoginea)

 
     

tapioca slime mold (Brefeldia maxima)

 
Profile Photo Photo

wasp nest slime mold (Metatrichia vesparium)

 
Profile Photo Photo

wolf’s milk slime mold (Lycogala epidendrum)

 
     

yellow-fuzz cone slime mold (Hemitrichia clavata)

 
     

 

 

 

No Species Page Yet?

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