Observation 78953: Reticularia Bull.

When: 2011-09-30

Collection location: Bovec basin, East Julian Alps, Posočje, Slovenia [Click for map]

46.35119° 13.54173°

Who: amadej trnkoczy (amadej)

Specimen available

Syn.: Fuligo septica var. leavis (Pers.) R.E. Fr. 1912
Code: Bot_558/2011_IMG6869

Habitat: Mixed mountain forest, dominant Picea abies and Fagus sylvatica, south oriented slope, warm place, calcareous bedrock, mostly in shade, partly protected from direct rain by tree canopies, average precipitation ~ 3.000 mm/year, average temperature 4-6 deg C, elevation 1.200 m (4.400 feet), alpine phytogeographical region.

Substratum: Dry, still intact bark of a recently wind fallen Picea abies, about 60 cm (2 feet) above ground.

Place: Bovec basin, next to the trail to Planina Goričica, below hunters’ cottage, Kanin Mountains, East Julian Alps, Posočje, Slovenia EC

Comment: Info on F. laevis found on internet is sparse and somewhat contradictory. However, because of unevenly colored spores (see arrows on the picture of spores) and generally good fit to the key in Ref.:(1) I decided for F. laevis. Yet, this would need an expert opinion.

Three aethalia present of diameter 2-3.5 cm (0.8-1.4 inch) and ~1.5 cm (0.6 inch) thickness. SP chocolate brown, oac637 (The Online Auction Color Chart); cortex whitish, oac900, thin, shiny, fragile. Hypothallus white, shiny, thin, inconspicuous.

Nikon D700 / Nikkor Micro 105mm/f2.8 and Canon G11, 6.1-30mm/f2.8-4.5

Species Lists


Unevenly colored spores with lighter areas (arrows).
Capillitium. Sample taken near cortex.
Hypothallus. Novex RZT-SF Trino.
Peridium inner side with cortex. Novex RZT-SF Trino
Capillitium with some remnant spore mass. Novex RZT-SF Trino.
Capillitium; detail at the base of the aethalium. Novex RZT-SF Trino.
Capillitium of the whole aethalium. Novex RZT-SF Trino.
Comparison of measured spore dimensions and data from literature for Fuligo laevis and Enteridium lycoperdon.

Proposed Names

16% (2)
Recognized by sight
Used references: (1) B. Ing, The Myxomycetes of Britain and Ireland,The Richmond Publ. Co.Ltd, (1999), p 241.
(2) S.L.Stephenson and H.Stempen, Myxomycetes, Timber Press Inc.(2000), p 123.
(3) http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?search=Fuligo+laevis 7-9
(4) http://www.hotfreebooks.com/...
Based on microscopic features: Spores globose to subglobose, verruculose, paler on one side; dimensions: 7.7 (SD = 0.4) x 7.1 (SD = 0.3) micr., Q = 1.09 (SD = 0.06), n = 30. Motic B2-211A, magnification 1.000 x, oil, in water.
61% (2)
Recognized by sight
30% (2)
Recognized by sight

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
Not a Fuligo.
By: Thomas Laxton (Tao)
2015-03-16 23:46:31 CDT (-0400)

The spore mass is way too light and brown in color not dark purple-brown as in Fuligo. Also These look a lot like the Reticularia lycoperdon I have found: http://mushroomobserver.org/132539?q=2Wx0c and http://mushroomobserver.org/161959?q=2Wx0c.

By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2015-03-16 09:02:35 CDT (-0400)

though we may be similarly blind with respect to our understanding of Mycetozoa, we may be able to paw our way through the slime mold darkness and arrive at an answer.

the first thing that troubles me about your F. laevis proposal is that Fuligo’s aethalium, as I’ve come to understand it, is not so smooth and membranous, almost shiny, as the one shown here, nor does Fuligo possess the white subiculum-like tissue around the aethalial margin, nor should its contents (capillitia and spores) be this light in color, but a purplish black or dark brown instead. this is going off limited field observations, images from the web, and images and descriptions from the few slime mold texts in my library (none of which are in English). Reticularia/Enteridium does possess such an aethalium, as well as the subiculum-like growth, with at least some species having just this color of sporangial contents.

In Band 1 of Die Myxomyceten, pg. 126, the spore widths for E. lycoperdon are given as 7.5-10µm in width, which matches splendidly with your micrograph. The strong reticulations would appear to be a match for Reticularia, assuming the etymology of the genus has something to do with that character being, well, characteristic. As for the presence or absence of “true capillitia,” I cannot comment much other than to offer up this illustration from the E. lycoperdon description:

Here are the authors’ comments on F. laevis in Band 2 of the same series, pg. 216:

…the only portion of which I can translate clearly says F. laevis recognized as a distinct species, characterized by a permanent cortex on one side and brightened spores, which just… confuses everything.

All in all, in my opinion, this matches well with my admittedly very dodgy concept of Reticularia/Enteridium, possibly R. lycoperdon, with the understanding that all of my concepts of slime molds are, at best, dodgy.

Perhaps Tao would like to weigh in…

EDIT: a final note. the areas you’ve indicated in your micrograph as “partially colored spores” appear to correspond well to the illustration linked above. perhaps this is an ornamented, dehiscing perispore, and the lighter areas are the exposed endospore.

spores do not fit
By: amadej trnkoczy (amadej)
2011-10-10 18:11:25 CDT (-0400)

Thank you Danny for your question. I reconsidered the way how I came up with F. laevis. But I am not much wiser now, unfortunately.

Following the key to orders in Ref.:(1)(p23), my main difficulty was (and still is) to decide between Lyceales/ Lycogalaceae/ Enteridium (lycoperdon)or Physarales/ Physaraceae/ Fuligo (laevis). In stage #4 of this key one should decide between a) “True capillitium present” and b) “True capillitium absent”. I believe I to some extent understand what a capillitium is, but I don’t know when it is ‘true’ and when not. May be this becomes clear after you see hundreds of different capillitia. I haven’t such an experience. So, I researched both options.

For option a) – Enteridium lycoperdon – I found that the capillitium type should be of “… flat plates whose ends fray into strands and threads which may branch (such a plate about 70 × 30 microns is shown on Fig.68, p86) …”. I did not see such plates. Also my spores were clearly too small for Entheridium lycoperdon.

Option b) – Fuligo laevis – states for capillitium " … nodes connected by hyaline tubes…" and " of the tube-like component plasmodiocarps at both ends, with few, small, fusiform lime-nodes". My picture of the capillitium (I have several similar) seems to consist mostly of tubes with some kind of ‘nodes’. Also spore characteristics (“…spores paler on one side…”) and their dimensions fit well to F. laevis. Since I had no difficulties with the keys to genera and to species, I decided to F. laevis.

Yesterday I made an additional picture of the capillitium. This time I photographed the whole aethalium with spores mostly blown away (see last three pictures). Pictures actually show something “… arising from the thick base of the aethalium as a series of plates whose end fray….”. Actually I would not call what I see ‘plates’, but capillitium seems to be somehow planar. These aren’t only uniformly and sparsely distributed tubes.

So, I don’t know what to say. Evidently measured spores do not correspond to Enteridium lycoperdon. See the picture of the fit to data from literature. I modified the originally published graph. May be this is some other Enteridium but in my literature there is none which would ‘fit’ to measured spores. The problem evidently needs more detailed literature or some expert opinion.

probably Central Europe
By: amadej trnkoczy (amadej)
2011-10-10 15:25:37 CDT (-0400)

Bruce Ing, The Myxomycetes of Britain and Ireland, The Richmond Pub.(1999) states for F. laevis: “… which have not been recorded in the British Islands but occurs in Continental Europe.” This agrees with Darvin’s information. Also the Global Biodiversity Information Facility


shows no observations in USA (however, I don’t know how complete these maps are). Unfortunately, this is the only written source I have. The description of the species was found in Ref.:(3).

Nice spores!
By: Darvin DeShazer (darv)
2011-10-10 14:53:28 CDT (-0400)

Fuligo laevis is not listed on the 1991 Annotated Checklist of California Myxomycetes (Madroño 38: 45-56)

By: damon brunette (damonbrunette)
2011-10-10 10:02:10 CDT (-0400)

excellent details and something to look for! Does your literature say it grows in the West?

By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2011-10-08 15:35:52 CDT (-0400)

is this different from Enteridium lycoperdon?

Created: 2011-10-08 14:55:06 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2015-03-17 03:31:30 CDT (-0400)
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