Tuesday, 29 December 2015

I went looking for fungi and all I found were these miniscule orange blobs

Can you see them? The miniscule orange blobs just below that one pence piece? They look like fungi to me.

I'm not super confident I'm even in the right kingdom with this but my best guess, after leafing through my collection of ID guides, would be Dacrymyces stillatus, also known as Common Jellyspot.

I had a look at a tiny sample of these miniscule blobs under the microscope, thinking that this might reveal some fascinating structural features. But no, even at 45x magnification, they still look like sticky, shapeless, gelatinous blobs; like a jelly baby that got left in the bottom of your handbag.
The books all offer different descriptions of the shape of Dacrymyces stillatus: Roger Phillips' Mushrooms declares it to be "more or less cushion shaped"; Michael Jordan's Fungi says it's "sub-spherical or more saucer-shaped"; and the Collins' Complete Guide hedges its bets with "cushion-, knob- or, occasionally, cup-shaped." None of them say anything about it being jelly baby shaped. Hmm.

The habitat for D. stillatus is damp decaying wood, including structural timbers. So the ageing gate I found them on would be right for this species. It's also described as "widespread and very common".

Hopefully I'm not making a complete fool of myself by suggesting these miniscule orange blobs could be D. stillatus.

For the record
Date: 29/12/15
Location: Footpath through Tottington Wood / Longlands Wood, Small Dole
Grid reference: TQ21711199

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