Slime moulds have an interesting life cycle and habits. I have provided brief and easy-to-read details of these strange life forms in my nature blog entry #22.
This slime mould resembles Lycogola epidendrum, common names Wolf's Milk Slime or Toothpaste Slime Mould.
Massess of these spongy apricot to pink cushion-like structures up to 10mm diameter were spread over an area of about half a square metre on wood-chip mulch at the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens following rain in mid November 2007. A few rows of similar slime moulds also grew on timber garden edging.
They were soft and slightly velvety to touch and had no discernible odour. Individual fruiting bodies were at different stages of their life cycle, so it was interesting to see the variation. I peirced some so as to investigate the interior, and a pale-orange substance oozed out that was of thick but 'runny' consistency, resembling busted blisters
There were also remains of a dark-brown shell-like bases of aged specimens. This slime mould was a particularly exciting find.
Spongy light-orange pillow-like fruiting bodies
Thick orange liquid oozes from pierced fruiting bodies
Slime mould fruiting bodies turn grey with age and split to ooze a substance that could be described as looking like vomit
Shell or bowl-shaped black or dark-brown bases remain
These shiny white baubles were a beaut find in the New England National Park in May of 2007. Although not in the Hunter Valley, the habitat was very like some of the alpine areas of Barrington Tops.
Growing on dead wood and only about 1mm diameter, these pretty slime mould fruiting bodies were a lucky find.
The creeping stage is shown on the top right
A mass of unjoined white slime mould baubles
Slime moulds are usually, but not always, small and often insignificant, but I would class them as extremely fascinating and odd life forms - well worth a close inspection. You're likely to find them following rain. Sometimes they will pop up in your garden, but as far as I am aware, they will do your garden or pets no harm.