Lattice fungus – not

Fungi are popping up all over at the moment, despite the general lack of rain. This one was in the eucalypt forest near the dead water rat on neighbour Jackie’s property. It’s a stinkhorn fungus, and she says this one was living up to its name.

Lattice fungus, Ileodictyon gracile

Lattice fungus, Ileodictyon gracile (photo by Jackie Cooper)

The ‘arms’ are a little thicker than in most of the photos on the web, such as on Fungimap, but I can’t find another one with such thick ‘arms’, so I’ll have to assume it’s still Ileodictyon gracile. If anyone knows any better, please let me know.

Update: Thanks to those who responded – I agree with  Brigitte (local botanist and fungiphile) and Gaye (see comment below) that it’s an older Pseudocolus fusiformis – see Gaye’s post on it. She confirms that the smell, described by Jacki, is really bad.

The Royal Melbourne Botanic Gardens do fungi ID but need a real specimen rather than a photo, and fair enough. So I’ll wait until Jackie lets me know there are more in her garden. Maybe I can “transplant” some to mine – or at least get some spores – but a loooong way from the house of the descriptions of the smell are anything to go by!

The stink comes from the brown goop on the arms – the spore mass. Australia Fungi – A Blog has further information and photos.

Let’s have some rain so we can have some more fungi!

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8 Responses to Lattice fungus – not

  1. peonyden says:

    Hi Joy.
    Clearly that Fungus has a tube going down below ground. Makes me think that it is closer to the Clathrus archeri ;
    or the far smaller, Aseroe rubra
    But yours are white, not red.
    I have seen the “Lattice Fungus” in Canberra when I lived there. But they were free to roll across the ground (once they had “hatched from their “eggs” “) So, in that case they clearly do not have the tube going down below ground which yours does.
    Hope that helps.

    • Joy Window says:

      Hi Denis,
      You are quite right about the tube, which cuts out Ileodictyon gracile as a possibility. Other websites mention them blowing around like tumbleweeds, which this one did not.
      I don’t think it’s Aseroe rubra – I am familiar with them and they don’t start out like this.
      Think I’ll ask a fungus enthusiast I know or, failing that, the Qld Museum or Australian Museum.
      By the way, there is another Phallus rubicundus emerging slowly from an “egg”. I’ve taken some shots and am watching it closely for further developments.

      • peonyden says:

        Yes, Joy. I believe you must scrub the idea of your specimen being Ileodictyon gracile.
        I think an aberrant (or “albino”) form of Clathrus archeri is the most likely. Many of the stinkhorns (with arms) start out with them joined at the tip. before then opening out. So, perhaps your first specimen might also have opened out from the apparent lattice form, to an open armed form.

        • Joy Window says:

          I believe you are right. There were lots of these fungi, but Jackie dug them all up and buried them as they were so putrid smelling, so we won’t know if they would have ‘split’ eventually. I’ve sent off a query to the Queensland Museum and will report back what they say. And then amend the post. Isn’t this fun? I love research!

  2. peonyden says:

    Yes, fun, but wish it could be more conclusive.
    Please tell your friend to not dig up and bury these Fungi.
    They are all part of God’s Menagerie, or whatever Force you choose to think is responsible for them being here.
    All creatures have the right to exist.
    Their smell is essential to their spore dispersal. It may not be pleasing to our noses, but so what?
    It works for the flies which spread the spores.

    • Joy Window says:

      I too am fond of the often less popular critters on Earth – spiders, snakes, jellyfish, sharks, parasites (really cool!), etc. I find them more fascinating the further from us in form and lifestyle they get. They remind me that Earth is not actually set up for humanity (although humanity is doing its darnedest to change that) and we should be far less arrogant in our dealings with Nature.

      FYI, Qld Museum does not do plants or fungal ID and the NSW Herbarium does not do email ID. I’ll keep researching.

  3. Gaye Drady says:

    Hello Joy, your stinkhorn fungus might be Pseudocolus fusiformis, having lost it’s colour due to age:

    • Joy Window says:

      Many thanks, Gaye. Loss of colour (and shape?) due to age makes sense. Another friend who is a fungi enthusiast agrees with you. I’ll be contacting the Royal Melbourne Botanic Gardens for confirmation.

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