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Thread: Identify this fungus (I think?)

  1. #1 Identify this fungus (I think?) 
    Forum Freshman Iceabaton's Avatar
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    Hi, I recently was outside and saw this weird fungus (at least that's what I think it is...). There is a weird amber colored secretion and behind the main portion on the ground, there is a gooey phlegm-like substance (you can see it in the photo with the close-up on my knife handle). Here's some info:
    -I live in Northeastern PA
    -About 1300ft above sea level
    -It has been extremely rainy and humid for 2-3 weeks now.
    -This area of the house faces east and receives direct sunlight from sunrise until 11am.
    -The cedar mulch is only about 1.5 months old.
    -A week after the mulch was laid down, I had the perimeter of the house sprayed with insecticide.
    I don't know if any of this information was helpful, but I figured it couldn't hurt.
    I used my knife (Benchmade 940 Osborne if you're curious) as a scale in the photos. Knife dimensions are: 3.4" blade, 4.47" handle, 7.87" overall.


    Fungus-5.jpg Fungus-4.jpg Fungus-3.jpg Fungus-2.jpg Fungus-1.jpg


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  3. #2  
    Forum Professor Zwirko's Avatar
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    Looks a little like some kind of slime mold rather than a fungus. I'm not an expert in these matters so be warned that I'm only guessing.

    If you do a google image search for: white slime mold mulch you can see some things that appear quite similar.


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  4. #3  
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    Hi Iceabaton,

    Sorry, I am unable to identify the fungus... my advice would be to stay well clear of it (or use a respirator that is capable of keeping out fungal spores) and use gloves/protective clothing if you really have to go near it... at least until you are able to ascertain its identity and that it is not pathogenic. Otherwise, have it removed from the place.

    Best wishes,

    Tridimity
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  5. #4  
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    goats beard came to mind.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Freshman Iceabaton's Avatar
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    After some searching, I'm almost certain it's Fuligo septica, or Dog Vomit Mold. It is a harmless slime mold which is often found in mulch and dead logs. They grow at an amazing 1mm per hour! That secretion is the spore mass and when it dries, the spores will be released.. Thanks for the tips!
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  7. #6  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    I would recommend posting the images on Mushroom observer (http://mushroomobserver.org/) You will be able to get a much more accurate identification. :-)
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  8. #7  
    Forum Freshman Iceabaton's Avatar
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    I'll do that right now! Thank you, Paleoichneum.
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  9. #8  
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    very strange things in fact i cant identify them
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  10. #9  
    Forum Freshman Iceabaton's Avatar
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    I know, right? I'm not a fungus/plant expert, but I'd expect to have close search results... the closest thing I could find is Fuligo septica. Look that up and see if that looks similar to my pics, I'm not sure... :/
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  11. #10  
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    Not a mycologist (one who studies fungi), but I think this has some importance:

    Quote Originally Posted by Iceabaton
    It has been extremely rainy and humid for 2-3 weeks now.
    If that's very out of the ordinary for your region's weather, then the fungus might have come as a result of the recent weather. Do you normally see any fungi or ones similar to that one at all where you are?
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  12. #11  
    Forum Freshman Iceabaton's Avatar
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    the fungus might have come as a result of the recent weather.
    That makes sense. I had a hunch that the weather was a significant factor in it's appearance. This weather is fairly uncommon here, it's not rare but not the norm.
    Do you normally see any fungi or ones similar to that one at all where you are?
    I have never seen this fungus in my life. We have a diverse mushroom population and lots of lichen (it is heavily wooded here).

    I was just thinking, it might be possible that the mulch was carrying spores from where it was from and the conditions were right for it to grow here... just a thought...
    I am not a mycologist (thanks for the new word ) either; I'm just speculating.
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  13. #12  
    Forum Professor Zwirko's Avatar
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    Note that if this was in fact a slime mold (not saying it is for definite) then the relevant branch of science would be protistology, rather than mycology. Slime molds are protists, not fungi.
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