Notes: This was growing on an oak stump in my yard in the Bay area. Last week I saw the same thing in the Sierra Nevada at 6,000 feet under firs.
I tried to examine the yellow omelette stuff under the microscope but even at 1000x I could only make out tiny circles. Later the blob dried out and the whole interior of it had turned into a material that felt like fine ash. Under the microscope this revealed itself to be a mass of cup shaped spores.
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I agree with Darvin these are dehydrated spore often seen in dried myxo collections or when left mounted under the microscope to long. Fortunately 3% KOH or even water soon rehydrate them.
This is an interesting question. This was the dry spore mass, The stuff that felt like ash – No mounting fluid at all was used up to 1000X. So when I add a drop of water to the slide they immediately swell up into spheres, But they were naturally collapsed before that.
The spores should be round spheres. The cup-shaped spores look like round spores that have collapsed. This can happen if the mounting fluid is NOT isotonic. 3% KOH is OK to use, but 10% KOH will suck the water out of fragile spores and cause them to collapse and deform. You also might have stopped the growth before it could mature.
Created: 2009-06-02 18:49:18 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2009-06-02 18:49:18 PDT (-0700)
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