Georgia Myxomycetes

Coral Slime Mold

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Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa

The coral slime mold is a fungus-like organism that forms very small fruiting bodies over the surface of the substrate. Each fruiting body consists of a cluster of erect, branched or unbranched, columns that vary from 1 - 10 mm (0.04 - 0.4") high. The tiny reproductive spores are formed on the outer surface of the columns. The fruiting bodies are usually white, or occasionally yellowish.

The coral slime mold occurs on wet, rotten wood, usually after a heavy rain in warm weather. Although very small, the fruiting bodies frequently form in large numbers, producing a readily visible mass several centimeters across. In Georgia it occurs during the summer, May to September, during wet weather.

Sooty Slime Mold

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Fuligo septica

The sooty slime mold is a fungus-like organism that occurs during wet weather. It forms rounded to flattened fruiting bodies that vary greatly in shape and size. They can be from 2 - 20 cm (0.8 - 8") across and 1 - 3 cm (0.4 - 1.2") thick. The fruiting bodies are covered by a white to yellowish or ochraceous crust that is fragile and which breaks away easily at maturity to reveal the dark brown to blackish mass of spores that fill the fruiting body.

The sooty slime mold occurs on wet soil and on decayed wood and litter on the ground following rains during warm weather. In Georgia it may occur from late spring to early autumn (May - September) when moisture is abundant.

Ashy Slime Mold

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Physarum cinereum

The ashy slime mold is a fungus-like organism that forms numerous small fruiting bodies on the surface of the substrate. The fruiting bodies are variable in shape, rounded on top, and irregular to elongate, straight or curved, to sometimes round. The thin exterior of the fruiting body is white to ashy gray in color; it breaks away at maturity to reveal a dark spore mass inside.

The ashy slime mold occurs in lawns or grassy areas during wet, warm weather, with the fruiting bodies forming on the leaves of grass and other plants. Sometimes the area covered by the fruiting bodies is extensive, up to a meter (3') or more in diameter. In Georgia it occurs in summer, May to September, suddenly appearing after rainy weather.