Wolf’s Milk

July 03, 2019

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Photographer: Kathy Arbuckle 
Summary Author: Kathy Arbuckle 

Shown above is a colorful slime mold known as Myxogastrid Amoeba. It’s hard to miss against the drab colors of an aged, round of pine firewood in my backyard, in Spokane, Washington. Commonly known as Wolf's Milk or Groening's Slime, it resembles a fungal growth, though isn’t a fungus at all. The species, Lycogala epidendrum, appears around the globe in favorable habitats from June to November (in the Northern Hemisphere), but this particular specimen showed up in late May. Its bright orange appearance is short-lived. When it ages it becomes brownish and dark in color. During the orange stage, the pillow-shaped forms (3–15 millimeters or 0.12–0.59 inches in diameter) will exude a pink paste if crushed. At maturity the paste becomes powdery spores. Photo taken on May 27, 2019.

Photo Details: Camera: NIKON COOLPIX P90; Software: Nikon Transfer 1.3 W; Exposure Time: 0.013s (1/79); Aperture: ƒ/2.8; ISO equivalent: 166; Focal Length (35mm): 26.