Arcyria incarnata sporangia. Photo by Eduardo Libby

Tiny wonders

The first time I saw photos of Slime Mold fruiting bodies, the equivalent of fungal caps, I couldn’t help thinking about life on another planet. The fact that these organisms actually turn into a slowly creeping slime when they are not in the reproductive stage sure helps my mental image of something alien.

These sporangia, a more technical name for the reproductive structure, are barely over one millimeter in length (one mm is about 1/24th of an inch). I am not very good at finding them, but there is a large and enthusiastic group of hobbyists and scientists that are constantly publishing photos of Myxomycetes, the technical name for the Slime Molds… they are good at finding these little marvels!

Arcyria incarnata. Photo by Eduardo Libby
Arcyria incarnata sporangia: they remind me of a group of friends gossiping.

These are among the first ones I have photographed. As you know, I am more of a landscape/wildlife photographer but… Hey, one must adapt to pandemic life! I was lucky to spot them growing on some rotting wood logs on the back of my garden.

Arcyria incarnata sporangia. Photo by Eduardo Libby
Arcyria incarnata sporangia or spore-bearing structures after opening.

My friend Federico Valverde was nice enough to identify them for me. He is a retired biologist that has found new fire for his scientific brain finding Slime Molds and photographing them. These beautiful Slime Mold species are named Arcyria incarnata.

Very fitting.

I will try to remember it.

One thought on “Tiny wonders”

  1. Lovely photos! Pinpoint focus! I remember first reading about slime molds – I laughed, I smiled, I was delighted. Viva nature! Viva evolution and diversity!

    Liked by 1 person

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