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Results tagged “phallaceae”

Feb 18, 2014: Phallus indusiatus

Phallus indusiatus

Another entry from Taisha, who writes:

The image shared today is of Phallus indusiatus, a fungal species commonly known as bridal veil stinkhorn or crinoline stinkhorn (among many other names). The photo was taken by Mike Bush (aka aviac@Flickr) at the Singapore Botanic Garden in November of 2009, and was uploaded to the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool. Thanks for contributing, Mike!

The Phallaceae, or the stinkhorn family, is doubly aptly-named; members are typically phallic in form as well as malodorous. The odour originates from the spore slime found on the cap of the fruiting body. The Phallaceae are gasteroid fungi, meaning their spores are produced internally on the fruiting body. Other gasteroids include puffballs, earthstars, and bird's nest fungi.

Wet weather prompts Phallus indusiatus to fruit, with the fruiting body first emerging from the ground as an egg-like structure. Within this structure (covered by a white peridium or skin) is the developing fruiting body of the fungus. At this stage, it is covered in a gelatinous matrix, called the gleba. Upon maturation of the spores, the stinkhorn expands. The stalk elongates, rupturing the peridium and extending upward. The cap (called the head) bears an odorous mass of olive-green slime containing the spores. Flies, beetles and other insects are attracted to the foul smell and end up helping the spores disperse. Shortly after the stalk expands, the indusium unfurls skirt-like from where it was tucked under the cap, eventually (almost) touching the ground (see: The Kingdom Fungi: The Biology of Mushrooms, Molds, and Lichens, by Steven L. Stephenson, or Mushrooms Demystified by David Arora).

To see a video of the fruiting of Phallus indusiatus, you can watch this timelapse video (via ODAKATOSHIO's science videos on Youtube) or this timelapse clip from BBC Nature.

Apr 28, 2011: Colus pusillus

Colus pusillus

Today's entry was written by Claire:

This vibrant photograph of the fungus Colus pusillus was taken by andrikkos (andrikkos_from_droushia@Flickr). Much thanks andrikkos! I was intrigued by the two other posted photographs from andrikkos as well: Colus pusillus 2 and Colus pusillus 3.

Belonging to Phallaceae, or the stinkhorn family, the fruiting bodies produce sticky masses of fetid smelling spores called gleba. The foul smell is intended to attract flies and other detritus-loving organisms that aid in dispersal when the sticky spores coat the insect's bodies. This particular fungus bears the common name craypot stinkhorn, and the visible fruiting parts, like others in Phallaceae, originate from an egg-shaped structure that emerges from the forest floor. Additional detailed pictures of this fungus are on Michael Kuo's MushroomExpert.com: Colus pusillus.

Colus pusillus bears its gleba on the pileus, the underside of the fragile receptaculum (the cage-like structure - on a common mushroom-type structure this would be the underside of the cap). Colus pusillus is thought to only occur in Australia but the few species described to this genus are widespread throughout the world. From Mycobank, here is the original description of Colus pusillus.

If you know more about this Australian fungus, please feel free to correct or comment!

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