Posts Tagged ‘Daintree fungi’
The wonderful phenomenon of glowing fungi, at least in the Daintree Rainforest, appears to have resolved the problem caused by the spectacular success of flowering plants and their obstruction to wind. Glowing lights attract invertebrates to aid in spore dispersal. Predominantly a wet-season occurrence, the coincidence of male fireflies, producing a series of like flashes from abdominal light-producing organs begs the question, is the fungi mimicking the the visual cue of the flightless female firefly, to lure the male into direct contact for spore-vector purposes?
At last warmer weather and rain has enlivened the Daintree Rainforest, ending a long, cold winter. With below average rainfall, the rich and vibrant presence of fungi has been lessened, but today the Yellow (Many-headed) Slime Mould (Physarum polycephalum) appeared on a log in a shady section of the rainforest.
Spectacular orange floral fungus enhances the beauty of the rainforest, with its bright colour attracting the appropriate insects to traffic spores in a general absence of wind. We are familiar with the White Jelly Fungus or Silver Ear (Tremella fuciformis), but this magnificent variation is delightfully new to us.
The yellow version is called “witches butter” because it can unexpectedly appear first thing in the morning and it is gives a warning:
November has been warm and moist providing perfect conditions for a multitude of fungi, mushrooms and toadstools to emerge. As we struggle to identify each of these fungi, we are humbled by the complexity of these important members of our rainforest. Using the computer and our limited library of books, we search for a name. This brilliant red, waxy toadstool is the fruiting body of an inconspicuous fungus that thrives on leaf litter, rotting wood and soil. Is it a vermillion waxcap or ruby bonnet?
These large, attractive fungi were photographed on the high bank of the Daintree Rainforest’s Tassel-Fern Creek, decomposing rotten timber brought down from the canopy by Cyclone Olga (Feb. 2010). The fruiting bodies are supported by a yellow-footed stem and have thin, funnel-shaped caps that are concentrically zoned in various shades of brown.