What You Should Know
Mucilago crustacea is a form of slime mold, in the monotypic genus Mucilago, in the family Didymiidae. Due to its visual resemblance to canine vomit, its common name is dog sick slime mold.
The fruiting body matures through yellow to become white, its interior finally blackening with age. The newly emerged plasmodia resemble a dog's vomit on the grass but within 24 hours the calcareous cortex has hardened and the black spore mass has matured.
White Slime molds are members of the Kingdom Protista so they are not classed as animals, plants, or fungi. They are primitive single-celled organisms that reproduce by spores. They are capable of limited movement and they feed on bacteria in the ground, they are beneficial for plants, they consume harmful bacteria and pathogens.
Other names: Dog Sick Slime Mold.
Mucilago crustacea Life Cycle
The slime molds spend most of their life cycle as microscopic, single-celled organisms in the soil. However, when conditions are right, they clump together and move above ground to form a larger organism called a plasmodium which varies in appearance from species to species. Most species of slime mold produce very small plasmodia measuring just a few mm.
A similar, bright yellow species known as ‘Scrambled egg fungus’ is found more in wooded habitats. After a few days, the plasmodium becomes dry and flaky and breaks up to release black spores which germinate in the soil to produce the next generation of slime molds.
Photo 1 - Author: Bj.schoenmakers (Public Domain)
Photo 2 - Author: Cecil Smith (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International)
Photo 3 - Author: Ian Alexander (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
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