What You Should Know
Tubifera ferruginosa is one of the most distinctive and widespread slime molds because of its large size and bright red color when it first appears. The colors of this slim mold are very variable and can be from light pink to dark red, and when maturing, it turns dark.
Fruit bodies of the slime mold are crowded together and compressed, starting red and forming raspberry-like clusters. The cluster soon matures into a purplish and then brownish mass at maturity. This slime mold grows singly or in groups on old stumps, dead and soaked wood waste of coniferous and deciduous trees, and in wood stores at sawmills. Prefers spruce forests. It is one of the most widely known and distinct slime molds, being found throughout temperate regions of the world, primarily in Europe and North America.
The slime molds form structures called plasmodia which are naked (i.e., without cell walls) masses of protoplasm that 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.
The name "ferruginosa" comes from Ferrug-, meaning “rusty” or “rust”; and -osa, meaning “fullness” or “abundance”.
Other names: Raspberry Slime Mold, Red Raspberry Slime Mold, Lachsfarbener Schleimpilz (German), Kanel-støvrør (Denmark), Tubifère Rouillé (France), Zlepníček jahodovitý (Czech Republic).
Tubifera ferruginosa Mushroom Identification
Individual sporangia are 3–5 mm high, 0.2–0.5 mm wide, cylindrical or club-shaped, rounded or flattened on the side, seated on a colorless hypothallus. They form dense clusters – pseudoaethalia 1–10 cm in diameter, in cross-section palisade.
The membranous base (hypothallus) is whitish to pale brown. However, it is later colored darker by the spores. It has a spongy structure and is often arched.
The shell (peridia) is preserved for a long time. It is thin and has a smooth, slightly shiny iridescent surface. In transmitted light and appears pale brown. The shell first tears at the apex and later opens up to the base.
A braid of hair (capillitium) is usually not present. Thin threads that have grown together with the wall can rarely be found. They have spurs on them. The spores are brown in mass, reddish brown in transmitted light. They measure six to eight micrometers in diameter. There is a fine-meshed network on the surface, which is interrupted at the germinal pore.
The plasmodium is whitish at first but later turns orange-red to scarlet or deep pink. Before maturity, it is colored dark brown.
Spore dust is brown, spores round, reticulated, reddish brown, 6–8 µm in size.
Odor and Taste
The slime mold has no particular smell or taste.
Grows on dead coniferous wood from May to October. It can also be found on the ground on foliage and needles. Has a cosmopolitan distribution throughout Europe.
Different Similar Species Structures
a. Tubifera ferruginosa subsp. ferruginosa
b. Tubifera ferruginosa subsp. acutissima
c. Tubifera montana
d. Tubifera dudkae
e. Tubifera applanata
f. Tubifera magna
g. Tubifera pseudomicrosperma
h. Tubifera corymbosa
Tubifera ferruginosa Synonyms and Varietes
Licea cylindrica (Bull.) Fr.
Licea clavata Schrad., 1797
Licea effusa Ehrenb., 1818 p.p.
Licea fragiformis (Bull.) Fr.
Licea iricolor Zoll., 1847
Licea rubiformis Berk. & M.A.Curtis, 1858
Licea tubulina Schrad., 1797
Lycoperdon favaceum Schrank, 1789
Lycoperdon ferruginosum (Batsch) Timm
Sphaerocarpus fragiformis Bull., 1791
Stemonitis ferruginosa Batsch, 1786
Tubifera cylindrica (Bull.) J. F. Gmel.
Tubifera ferruginosa (Batsch) J. F. Gmel. var. ferruginosa
Tubifera ferruginosa var. albostipitata Wichanský, 1962
Tubifera ferruginosa var. complanata Meyl., 1931
Tubifera ferruginosa var. subungulata Koaze, 1934
Tubifera fragiformis (Bull.) J. F. Gmel.
Tubulifera umbrina Zopf, 1884
Tubulina coccinea Trentep., 1797
Tubulina conglobata Preuss, 1851
Tubulina cylindrica (Bull.) DC.
Tubulina cylindrica var. acuta Peck, 1890
Tubulina fallax Pers., 1800
Tubulina fragifera Poir., 1808
Tubulina fragiformis Pers.
Tubulina fragiformis var. clavata
Tubulina fragiformis var. coccinea
Tubulina fragiformis var. conica Pers., 1800
Tubulina fragiformis var. operculata Pers., 1800
Tubulina fragiformis var. papillata Pers., 1800
Tubulina nitidissima Berk., 1881
Tubulina speciosa Speg., 1881
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