Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Strange Topping- Dog Vomit (Fuligo septica)

This morning I was out to feed the birds near some of my compost heaps when I noted
a large white mass on top of one of them. Where it sits this morning there was nothing more than a big fresh fire ant mound which can still be barely seen at the base. This Myxomycetes mass grew over night to the size it is now, and it may still be growing! It has a very fine sponge like texture and is not slimy. The scale in the photo is an 18" vs 12" scale for size comparisons.
Despite the mound being overwhelmed with this mass the ants are still active as is shown when I lightly disturbed the base where soil from the mound shows. The ants moved into the compost heap to escape the saturated soils after recent rains.
How incredible for this to appear in just a few hours and how interesting it would have been to have filmed it as it grew.   Hopefully a good sign that my compost is breaking down nicely.
Thanks to Anita Howlett for her help on the correct ID.

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