Tubifera ferruginosa: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Tubifera ferruginosa Mushroom
Tubifera ferruginosa is one of the most distinctive and widespread slime moulds because of its large size and bright red color when it first appears. Like other slime moulds it gradually changes color as it develops and the mature pseudoaethalia are mid brown. If the early bright stage is observed it is easy to identify.
Fruit bodies of the slime mold are crowded together and compressed, starting red and forming raspberry-like clusters. Individual fruit bodies are less than 0.5 mm wide and are up to 3 to 5 mm high. Compressed clusters can be up to 15 cm or more in length. The cluster soon matures into a purplish and then brownish mass at maturity.
While not fungi, slime molds often form spore-bearing structures that resemble those of the true fungi. Although many slime mold species fruit on wood they do not form a penetrating and absorptive mass of hyphae in the wood substrate.
Rather, slime molds form structures called plasmodia which are naked (i.e., without cell walls) masses of protoplasm which can move and engulf particles of food in an amoeboid manner.
Slime mold plasmodia creep about over the surfaces of materials, engulfing bacteria, spores of fungi and plants, protozoa, and particles of nonliving organic matter. At some point, plasmodia convert into spore-bearing structures.
In Tubifera ferruginosa, the plasmodium converts into a clustered mass of sporangia which compress together to form what is called a pseudoaethalium. In such a structure, the individual sporangia still retain their identity but the sporangia are so tightly compressed together that they resemble an aethalium such as that formed by Fuligo septica or Lycogala epidendrum.
Typical Structure Of The Sporothecal Tips
In the Tubifera ferruginosa complex. a. Tubifera ferruginosa subsp. ferruginosa. b. T. ferruginosa subsp. acutissima. c. T. montana. d. T. dudkae. e. T. applanata. f. T. magna. g. T. pseudomicrosperma. h. T. corymbosa.
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