Hainault Forest Website

Written and Designed by Brian Ecott

Myxomycetes - Slime moulds





Metatrichia floriformis from an original drawing

Metatrichia floriformis  

On the 12th March 2018 Raymond Small photographed a mass of black "eggs" which looked to me like caviar. On closer examination they appeared to be stalked. I had seen Slime moulds before and thought that this what they were and checked with Bruce Ing's book  Myxomycetes of Britain and Ireland. and identified it as a common species of rotting wood in woodlands. Fearing that it might spore we went back the following day to find that many of the globes had split and produced spore-like masses. Photos Raymond Small and Brian Ecott. 13th March 2018.
Metatrichia floriformis (black) on rotten wood. On rotten beech log, Dog Kennel Hill. Photographed 29th October 2006.  The pink slime mould as yet unidentified.
Trichia decipiens

Slime mould Trichia decipiens on rotted wood. 30th October 2011 Photographs Iris Newbery, Peter Comber.

Dictydiathalium plumbeum

Professor Bruce Ing, a world authority on slime moulds, living in Scotland. As a boy in the 1950's he lived in East London and although he knew Hainault, he did most of his early natural history studies in Epping Forest. I remember going, as a youngster, and looking at the small exhibit of Myxomycetes (Slime moulds) at the museum in the Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge. They fascinated me then!

Professor Bruce readily identified the slime mould as a stage in the life cycle of the slime mould Dictydiathalium plumbeum and reports that there are only a handful of records for Essex.


Dictydiathalium plumbeum on beech  23rd January 2016

Mucilago crustacea Dogs vomit  
This is Dog vomit or Porridge Slime mould Mucilago crustacea on grass just inside the Oak path gate. It is a complex organism which has its own Kingdom - the Slime moulds, They are not related to fungi. 23rd September 2017. Photo Brian Ecott.
Dog vomit slime mould Mucilago crustacea on grass and bramble. Photographed 14th October 2004. Cabin Hill. Mucilago crustacea slime mould on leaf litter, Dog Kennel Hill. Photo: Iris Newbery. 29th Oct. 2006.
Lycogala terrestre  Wolf's milk  
Lycogala terrestre on old hornbeam stump. The picture on the left was taken on 14th April 2006 when the slime mould was forming and was spongy. One week later 21st April 2006 the slime mould pictured right was bronze coloured, hard and mature. It was beginning to crack and release the spores. Pictured near Sheepwater.

Above and left are Slime moulds. They have been common this year on fallen rotten logs. They measure 15mm or less across. There are several species and they often appear after rain.


Pictured is Wolf's blood Lycogala epidendrum. Notice the large one in the group on the right of the picture above. This has been squeezed and a pink fluid has  exuded (see left) and contains millions upon millions of tiny unicellular organisms.

During my time at school we were taught that there were two Kingdoms of living things - Plants and Animals. Now we know that many things do not fit these categories. Now there is the Fungi Kingdom and the Slime moulds belong to the Kingdom Myxomycetes. Other Kingdoms exist.

4tb July 2017.  Photos Brian Ecott

Reticularia lycoperdon  

Three Reticularia lycoperdon on a Hawthorn stump 19th March 2003 on Foxburrows Farm. The largest (enlarged right) was 5 cm diameter.

Reticularia lycoperdon photographed on hornbeam log in Lambourne Great Wood. April 2003. Reticularia lycoperdon on old Elder stump. Photo: 6 May 2006 on Hog Hill. (Stage 2)
 Reticularia lycoperdon (Stage 3) May 2001.

Reticularia lycoperdon (Stage 4) on old oak stump  13th August 2012

 Reticularia lycoperdon (Stage 4) on oak 18th May 2012

Reticularia lycoperdon (Stage 4)   The skin is peeling exposing the black spore mass. 27th March 2009.

Slime mould Reticularia lycoperdon on rotting birch trunk, Dog Kennel Hill appeared after the heavy rain. 25th March 2016. Photo   Brian Ecott

Slime mould Reticularia lycoperdon. Judging by the number of letters going to NaturePlus at the Natural History Museum this must be appearing all over the place this spring. 7th April 2016. Photo Colin Carron.  
Fuligo septica septica Flowers of Tan  


Flowers of Tan Fuligo septica var. septica . Lambourne Wood. October 1991
Flowers of Tan Fuligo septica var. septica  on birch. Photo Daniel Britton.

Flowers of Tan Fuligo septica var. septica  on oak stump.

Photo Daniel Britton.13th August 2012

Flowers of Tan slime mould Fuligo septica on Lambourne Woods. 

15th August 2017. Photo Brian Ecott.

Fuligo candida Caca de luna (Moon's poo)
Slime mould Fuligo candida on cut hornbeam, Roe's Well 20th July 2006. Greatest length 17 cms.

Slime mould Fuligo rufa  in Lambourne Wood October 2002

Arcyria stipata

Arcyria stipata on rotten wood. Photographed October 2007 Dr Bruce Ing  also spotted  the Slime Mould  Arcyria stipata on the website  found in 2007 which is uncommon and another good record for Hainault Forest.

Unlabelled pictures


On rotten beech log, Dog Kennel Hill. Photographed 29th October 2006