Chocolate Tube Slime Mold, Stemonitis splendens
Stemonitidaceae or Chocolate Tube SlimeFamily

Fruiting bodies in habitat

Looks like a clump of thick fur growing out of a log. Closeup it will be seen to be a packed cluster of chocolate-brown, long sausage-shapes on thin hair-like stems. Another common name is tree hair.

As a slime mold this organism grows as a large cell containing many nuclei, that crawls through leaf litter eating bacteria, spores and other minute stuff. When conditions are ripe and food is running out, it will develop into the furry patches, passing through short-lived white and pink forms. The chocolate brown tubes contain spores, and will release them, becoming paler as the spores disperse. The white and pink forms are very short-lived, and the brown form is hard to notice on brown wood. It could be very common in the Park.

Fruiting bodies
There are other species of Stemonitis that can only be distinguished microscopically. Without further study we cannot be sure which species we have.

Flora & Fauna Home

Wildwood Home