The Good, The Bad and The Slimy

Something sinister is lurking in the undergrowth at our Coed Y Bwl reserve in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Oozing along the woodland floor are a range of Myxomycetes commonly refered to as Slime Moulds. Not plant, not animal, not fungi. They are capable of locomotion and finding thier way through a maze!

Dog Vomit Slime Mould by Mike Bright (600px)

Dog Vomit Slime Mould by Mike Bright

They feed by engulfing bacteria and organic matter, a mini version of 'The Blob'. Usually they go unnoticed until they produce a fruiting body which can be very colouful.

Here is a picture of my latest find at Coed Y Bwl - Fuligo Septica (which has the charming common name of 'Dogs Vomit') has a bright yellow fruting body. This stage lasts a couple of days at most so your best chance of seeing it is to visit the woods a day or two after heavy rain and keep an eye out for a log that looks like a dog has vomited over it!

Mike Bright