T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Mould (Slime) Dog Vomit) Fuligo septica

Kingdom:  Protozoa
(unranked):  Amoebozoa
Phylum: Mycetozoa
Class  Myxomycetes
Order Physarales
Family  Physaraceae
Genus:       Fuligo
Species:     Fuligo septica
Synonyms: Mucor septicus, Reticularia septica, Aethalium septicum
Common names: Dog Vomit Slime Mould, Scrambled egg slime, Flowers of tan, Sulphur Slime Mould

Fuligo septica is a species of plasmodial slime mould, and a member of the Myxomycetes class. It is a common species with a worldwide distribution, it is often found on bark mulch in urban areas after heavy rain or excessive watering. Their spores are produced on or in aerial sporangia and are spread by wind.
Like many slime moulds, the cells of this species typically aggregate to form a plasmodium, a multinucleate mass of undifferentiated cells that may move in an ameboid like fashion during the search for nutrients. F. septica's plasmodium may be anywhere from white to yellow-grey, typically 2.5–20 cm in diameter, and 1–3 cm thick. The plasmodium eventually transforms into a sponge-like aethalium, analogous to the spore-bearing fruiting body of a mushroom; which then degrades, darkening in colour, and releases its dark coloured spores. F. septica produces the largest aethalium of any slime mold. This species is known to have its spores dispersed by beetles in the family of Lathridiidae.
The spores have a two-layered wall, with a dense outer layer with spines, and a fibrous inner layer. During germination, the outer layer splits to create an opening, and more elastic inner layer ruptures later as protoplasm emerges. A remnant of the inner layer may be persistent and adhere to the protoplast after it has emerged from the spore. A peroxidase enzyme present in the inner cell wall plays a role in germination.
Fuligo septica grows on rotten wood and plant debris, but can also grow on the leaves and stems of living plants.

 

  

A small Fuligo septica grown on a living three trunk.