Red Raspberry Slime Mold, Tubifera ferruginosa
Reticulariaceae or Wolf's Milk Slime Family

Immature fruiting body

Fruiting body does somewhat resemble a raspberry sitting on dead wood. When young, it is composed of many separate, but closely packed raspberry red tubes. As it matures it turns purplish and then brown (sometimes called the "cigar" stage), and finally disintegrates as the spores are released. This transition is documented in the sequence below.

As a slime mold this organism grows as bit of clear mucus, 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 whiten, and then produce the tubes which turn briliant red. It does not attack the wood, but merely uses it as as a convenient stage. It has been seen occasionally in Wildwood, but since the brilliant red stage is short-lived, it may be more common than we think.

In the red stage, nothing else looks like it, except red raspberries. The white, snow-like stuff in the pictures below is another slime mold, honeycomb coral slime, sharing the log.

Closeup of immature fruiting body
Immature fruiting body Mature fruiting body Disintegrating fruiting body

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