Thursday, November 12, 2009

Leocarpus fragilis

Presenting: Leocarpus fragilis, the local, traveling slime mold that grows off Steven's Way on UW campus. It's growing on cedar (Cedrus sp.) cones.

Slime molds are strange, beautiful, under-studied organisms. They have a single-celled, asexual stage in their life cycle. But then, in response to environmental cues, all the independent, single celled individuals in an area congregate, fuse together, and travel around as one amoeba-like organism; the "swarm" stage. After swarming for a while, they produce spores. The above picture is of Leocarpus fragilis in the spore producing stage.
Here is a previous post on slime molds.

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