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Taxonomic fungal category. Slime molds.



Approx. 45 genera.

Where Found

Decaying logs, stumps and dead leaves, particularly in forested regions.

Mode of Dissemination

These organisms have both dry and wet spores.
Wind disperses the dry fruiting body spores, whereas the wet amoebic phase is motile.

Growth Indoors

Occasionally found indoors.

Industrial Uses

None known.

Other Comments

The myxomycetes have an interesting life cycle which includes a wet spore phase and a dry spore phase. When conditions are favorable, they move about like amoebae, resembling primitive animals. When conditons are not favorable they form a resting body (sclerotium) with dry, airborne spores. The myxomycetes are not considered to be true fungi.

Potential Health Effects


Type I allergies (hay fever, asthma).
(Lycogala used in one skin test survey.)

Potential Opportunist or Pathogen

No reports of human infection.

Potential Toxin Production


Laboratory Notes

Growth/Culture Characterisics

The myxomycetes do not grow on general fungal media.

Spore Trap Recognition

While a few are distinctive, many of the myxomycete spores are difficult to distinguish from the smuts. These spores are placed in our group "smuts, myxomycetes, Periconia," due to their similar "round, brown" morphology.

Tape Lift Recognition

Occasionally seen and identified on tape lifts. Distinctive especially when fragments of the lacy fruiting bodies are present.