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Netted Stinkhorns Maturing

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If you should detect an odor reminiscent of a decomposing carcass, it may well come from the spores of Netted Stinkhorn (Dictyophora duplicata) – the slimy, olive-green matter on the head, or top portion, of the fungus. When mature, the spores have a fetid odor which successfully lures insects, especially flies, to the fruiting body of this fungus. Some of the spores stick to the legs and mouth parts of the flies. Eventually the flies land on some real rotting material and the spores are transferred to a substrate they can grow on. Although it’s not too discernible in this photograph, Netted Stinkhorns derive their name from a fishnet-like veil, or skirt, below the head of the fungus.

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6 responses

  1. Kathryn

    Ick…

    September 30, 2016 at 10:20 am

  2. Yes, ugh. But reading this reminds me that I really don’t understand how such a fungus reproduces. Is it easy to tell the story quickly/briefly, or should I ask you to find an opportunity to describe it in detail in some future post? Thanks! – Dell

    September 30, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    • Wow. That’s a pretty complicated question, Dell. They can reproduce sexually or asexually, but the explanation of both of those processes is pretty involved…perhaps a post subject sometime!

      October 1, 2016 at 10:35 am

      • A future post – or several – would be wonderful. I really don’t know anything about how reproduction using spores works for different plants and/or fungi.

        October 1, 2016 at 12:36 pm

  3. By the way, Mary, my 5-year-old granddaughter LOVES “Ferdinand Fox’s First Summer” – both the amazing photos and the information! Thanks for your books, all of which are very informative, with such great photos, and especially for that one! – Dell

    September 30, 2016 at 11:06 pm

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