Monday, 24 May 2021

My first 'pet' Aseroe rubra (Anemone Stinkhorn fungus)

A week ago (Sun 16 May) , I found an 'egg' of an Aseroe rubra (Anemone Stinkhorn) fungus. I couldn't find anything online about how long it takes for the fruiting body to emerge from the membranous sac - I assumed it would only be a few days (and it was). On Tuesday night, it began to 'hatch' and I spent the next six hours observing this incredible process. I've put my photos - taken every half hour (or so) until 03h30 that night and then randomly over the next few days- into this short video. 

The fruiting body, with its stinky brown gleba (which attracts flies and insects, and contains the spores) is short-lived. Within 12hrs it had begun to wither and degrade and three days later, in the protected environment of the glass jar, was looking very sorry. In nature they're only around for 24-48hrs.

It was incredibly exciting and interesting to observe this hatching. When I first caught sight of the splitting egg and then the 'fingers' furled just under the very thing membrane - elated!

The process happens really quickly as the stipe (stem) grows and elongates, and the arms radiate with 'fingers' extended and the shiny brown gleba presented for all the insects to find.

It really is quite incredible to see it go from 'egg' to this in five hours.

And this by mid-morning...

You can watch my short video compilation of my photographs here. 

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