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Leocarpus fragile or fragile (Leocarpus fragilis) is an unusual fruiting body belonging to myxomycetes. Belongs to the Physarales family and Physaraceae genus. At a young age, it resembles lower animals, and at a mature age it becomes similar to the usual mushrooms. Its other names:
- Lycoperdon fragile;
- Leocarpus vernicosus;
- Leangium or Physarum vernicosum;
- Diderma vernicosum.
Important! Myxomycetes are slimy organisms that occupy a position between the plant and animal kingdoms, they are also called "animal mushrooms".
The colony of this fungus looks like strange small berries or insect eggs.
Where does Leocarpus Brittle grow?
Leocarpus fragile is a cosmopolitan, distributed throughout the globe in temperate, subarctic and subtropical climatic zones, in areas with a boreal climate. It has never been found in deserts, steppes and humid tropics. In Russia, it is found everywhere, especially abundantly in the taiga zones. Loves small-leaved and mixed forests, pine forests and spruce forests, often settles in blueberries.
Leocarpus fragile is not picky about the composition of the substrate and soil nutrition. It grows on dead parts of trees and shrubs: branches, bark, dead wood, in rotting stumps and fallen trunks, on deciduous decay. It can also develop on living plants: trunks, branches and leaves of trees, on grass, stems and shrubs. Sometimes it can be seen on the droppings of ruminants and birds.
In the plasmodium state, these organisms are quite active to migrate long distances and climb to their favorite spots in the treetops. Attaching a thin flagellum-pedicle to the nutrient substrate, fragile leocarpus turns into sporangia, located in tight dense groups. It is very rare to see him alone.
Leocarpus brittle grows in close-knit teams, forming bright shiny garlands
What does leocarpus brittle look like?
In the form of a mobile plasmodium, these organisms are amber-yellow or reddish in color. Sporangia are round, drop-shaped or spherical in shape. They are very rarely elongated-cylindrical. Nestle tightly against the host plant. The leg is short, filiform, white or light sandy color.
The diameter varies from 0.3 to 1.7 mm, the height is 0.5-5 mm during the maturation of the spores. The shell is three-layered: a brittle outer layer, a thick degraded middle layer, and a membranous thin inner layer.
Only the fruiting bodies that have appeared have a sunny yellow color, which, as it develops, darkens first to red-honey, and then to brick-brown and violet-black. The surface is smooth, glossy, dry, very brittle. Ripe spores break through the skin that has become thinner to a parchment state and scatter. Spore powder, black.
Leocarpus fragile is very similar to other types of yellow-colored slime mold
Is it possible to eat fragile leocarpus
There is no exact information about the edibility of this organism. The issue is poorly understood, therefore fragile leocarpus is considered an inedible species.
Leocarpus brittle coral coloration on a fallen tree trunk
Leocarpus fragile belongs to the unique creatures of nature, animal mushrooms. At a young age, they demonstrate the behavior of the simplest organisms and are able to move; adult specimens have all the characteristics of ordinary fungi. Classified as inedible. Distributed widely throughout the globe, with the exception of the hot tropics and eternal ice. They have similarities with other types of mixomycetes of red and yellow shades.