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Stemonitis splendens (Family Stemonitaceae)


The distribution shown on the map is based on herbarium records and reliable sightings. It is likely that this species has a wider distribution than that shown on the map. However there has been little work on the distribution of Australian fungi and there are surprisingly few herbarium specimens of even the common species. (ACT, NSW, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA).


The mobile (or plasmodial) stage of this myxomycete is white to pale yellow. The stationary, sporing stage the consists of a colony of short, thin cylinders atop wiry stalks. These spore-bearing cylinders are mostly 5 to 15 mm long, shorter ones being erect, longer ones often flexuose. The smooth, purplish brown wall of each cylinder is very thin and brittle. Inside the cylinder are the purplish black spores entangled in a filamentous network (or capillitium). The smooth, black, wiry stalks are at most a few millimetres long and arise from a communal silvery or purplish basal sheet (or hypothallus).

Ecology/Way of Life:

This species is found on dead wood.

Other Comments:

The type specimen was collected in Europe but the species is cosmopolitan.

Further Reading:

Crowder, W. (1926). Marvels of the Mycetozoa. National Geographic. April pp.421 – 443.

Ing, B. & Spooner, B.M. (1994). Myxomycetes from the Kimberley Region, Western Australia. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 116: pp71 – 76

Lister, A. (1925). A Monograph of the Mycetozoa. 3rd. ed. (rev. by G. Lister). British Museum, London.

Martin, G.W. & Alexopoulos, C.J. (1969). The Myxomycetes. University of Iowa Press.

Mitchell, D.W. (1995). The Myxomycota of Australia. Nova Hedwigia, 60: 269 – 295.

Nannenga–Bremekamp, N.E. (1991). A Guide to Temperate Myxomycetes. Biopress, Bristol.


Text and map by Heino Lepp. Image by Bruce Fuhrer.

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