Pink Slime, Dictydiaethalium plumbeum
Reticulariaceae or Wolf's Milk SlimeFamily

Young fruiting body

Fruiting body a slimy deep red to hot pink, irregular-shaped, spongy blob that quickly becomes gray and crusty as it matures. Underneath the pink is a web of white (and sometimes beetles and isopods munching on it).

Most of its life is spent as a pinkish slime, a bit of protoplasm with many nuclei, that crawls through the forest litter eating bacteria, spores, protozoa and other organisms. When it runs out of food and conditions are right, it crawls up onto a log and develps into the fruiting body. The gray, crusty form is the mature, spore-bearing structure.

It is known from Wildwood--the pictures were taken along the Westside Trail--but it is anyone's guess how common it is. It spends most of its life hiding, and when it does come out it quickly turns an easily overlooked gray.


Nearly mature fruiting bocy

Something simila, but pale pink or yellow, in open areas, is likely to be dog vomit slime (Fuligo septica). Something similar, but yellow, in the woods, is probably many-headed slime.

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