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Physarum album #2

Posted by
Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 22 October 2010 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

Physarum album (Knikkend kalkkopje (BE) / Baumwoll-Stielkügelchen (DE) /No other common names found ) is a slime mold in the Physaraceae family. Yesterday I showed the immature fruiting bodies. More info on the the life cycle of the slime molds can be found there.

In this image (again with 150mm macro + 2x Extender) you can see the mature fruiting bodies ready to release the spores. The most important characteristic of all the species within this family is the presence of lime (calcium carbonate) deposits, which may occur in the peridium, capillitium, or stalk of the fruiting body. The spore mass colour is normally dark brown to purple-brown to black.

Image: Kalmthout (Be) - 01/10/2010

Canon EOS 400D 1/5 second F/20.0 ISO 200 300 mm

© Johan Dierckx

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All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.

(To see species in the same taxonomic rank (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus), please use the tags provided with the image. The last tag is the Iso-code for the country where the image was taken. Image-date in DD/MM/YYYY format.)

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Marleen from Doesburg, Netherlands

Het 'Kalk' gaat barsten.....!! Gaaf om te zien:-)

22 Oct 2010 6:51pm

@Marleen: Wonderlijk toch :-) De naamgeving van de soort komt in deze foto goed tot zijn recht - bij de vorige foto was er van kalk nog maar bitter weinig te merken ... Die slijmzwammen zijn bijzonder moeilijk te determineren omdat elk stadium zo totaal verschillend van uitzicht is .

Veronique from Sarrouilles, France

like a garland of little lamps ! lovelly

22 Oct 2010 9:24pm

@Veronique: Glad you like it, Veronique. These slime molds are wonderfull to find - but you have to look real close :-)

Dutçh from Chicagoland, United States

So funny to hear myself calling fungus pretty.. but they look like petite little snowballs.. they are pretty!

23 Oct 2010 2:19am

@Dutçh: He He ... I achieved one of my goals here ! Someone making to call a fungus "pretty" !!! :-DDDD (BTW these slime molds are not realy fungi but I won't mind if you call them that way ... as long as you find them pretty it is ok :-PPP )

carla from leeuwarden, Netherlands

Heel bijzonder.

23 Oct 2010 8:31am

@carla: Ik blijf me verbazen over de levenscyclus en de verschillende verschijningsvormen van die "slijmzwammen". Het is een heel aparte wereld waar je terechtkomt als je je daarin gaat verdiepen - al heb je een bijzonder goede loep nodig :-) Dank voor je commentaar, Carla.

Julie Brown from Indianapolis, United States

They look so different now. Do they burst open like puffballs?

23 Oct 2010 1:52pm

@Julie Brown: They indeed look very different. Sometimes is is almost impossible to identify them because they look very different in every life-stage. The lime in the "heads" has hardened here. They don't burst open and puff the spores out like puffballs, but the lime cracks (as you can see in the image) and the spores just fall out or are blown out by the wind.

Christine from Duns, United Kingdom

I have the same question as Julie and like Dutch I do think they look pretty

24 Oct 2010 7:13am

@Christine: So I answered your question in my reply to Julie's then :-))) Every day I make images, I get more aware of the beautiful world we live in ... I'm glad I can share my images of these wonderfull life forms with those who have never seen them ...

Lynda McGovern from Austin, United States

Thank you for helping me identify and explaining what I have growing in my brand new, out of the bag potting soil. Someone on Fb page Slime mold identification and appreciation identified it for me as Physarum album . After seeing your pictures...yep! I have it! So interesting that it's not a plant or animal... Or that it's both, I guess. Very cool.. And thanks again!

13 Mar 2020 11:31pm

Canon EOS 400D
1/5 second
ISO 200
300 mm