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Alien Life form?

Alien Life form?
Photo Information
Copyright: Manyee Desandies (manyee) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
Genre: Fungi
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-01-01
Categories: Fungi
Camera: Canon Powershot SX110IS
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Guatemala & Belize
Theme(s): RARE or SIGNIFICANT contributions to TN 5 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-01-20 17:03
Viewed: 5721
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 24
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hiking on some wet trail in a dark rainforest, we came upon patches of these slimy globs on the forest floor. WHAT is that? Alien scat? Alien snot? I looked over my shoulder, totally expecting some creature from outer space to materialize behind my back.

We originally thought it was some kind of slime mold,
but thanks to John Denk (jpdenk), we now know that what we are dealing with a kind of mushroom called...

Stalked Puffball-in-Aspic
Calostoma cinnabarinum

Ecology: ectomycorrhizal with oaks, along the edges of roads and paths, and so on; spring through fall; eastern North America, Texas, and perhaps in the Southwest; apparently more common at higher elevations within its range.

Fruiting body: At first appearing like a raised gelatinous egg or lump, with a translucent outer layer and a red inner layer; later appearing like a smooth or dusted pinkish to red balloon with a central pore, raised on a shaggy reddish to reddish brown stem that is surrounded by the deciduous, gelatinous material (often containing reddish chunks, as in the illustration); finally appearing like a pinkish to reddish, perforated balloon about 2 cm across, atop a shaggy or even coarsely reticulate stem that is 2-4 cm long and 1-2 cm thick. The spore mass within the ball is white, becoming buff or yellowish at maturity.


This stalked puffball begins development within a gelatinous transparent exoperidium which is soon disrupted by the developing spore sac, exposing a red inner part of the exoperidium. Eventually this too falls away revealing the mature endoperidium with five (usually) cinnabar red, raised ridges at the center of which an ostiole develops for spore dispersal. Widespread in the eastern USA south through Costa Rica to Colombia.


sandpiper2, Ozgur70, eng55, Hormon_Manyer, horias, PaulH, red45, loot has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello ManYee,

A very attractive photo, good exposure and color, and very sharp and detailed. This NOT a slime mold though. Those are mushrooms in the genus Calostoma.


Hi Manyee,This is very interesting.
The fruiting bodies do look very much like slime molds,but they also bear resemblance to a strange puffball fungi we have here in New Zealand called Calostoma rodwayii
You can see my photo of that one here Calostoma rodwayii
A great capture of an interesting find.
Cheers & tfs

Hi Manyee

Excellent shot of this very weird looking fungi. I would be looking for aliens too!
Cool composition and sharpness.


Good capture of a very interesting form of life.
Nice colors and details.Well done.
Best regards.Alin.

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2010-01-21 7:14]

Hi Manyee,
Very interesting image.Sharp,clear and well composed.Such a think I'd never seen before.
Thanks for posting..

hello Manyee
this is a very strange fungi for my
great details and good sharpness
beautiful colours
great shot
greeting lou

Hi Man Yee,

First of all John's ID specification's right, this must be Calostoma cinnabarinum. Very strange looking fungi, I never met any species of this genera, they don't live here in Europe. This is the benefit of TN: we always learn something new... Many thanx, for both You and John.

Photographically: interesting image with great light management (in difficult conditions), nice colors, beautiful focus and composition. I think it's impossible to capture this species in a better way than You did. I bookmark the pic as one of my favorites.

Best regards, László

  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2010-01-21 9:34]

Hi ManYee
What a amazing capture!
Colors and details are great!

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-01-21 10:34]

Hello Manyee,
Great discovery. Very beautiful coloured puffballs taken from a good POV. Very good sharpness, details and contrasting surroundings.

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2010-01-22 4:02]

Hi Manyee,
yep, probably would've thought the same - this is strange stuff! Glad you were there to capture it though, nice colours and good details too, well done!

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2010-01-26 8:04]

Hello Man Yee!

Very strange, yet nice looking fungus. I see this specie for first time in my life. Looks interesting with vivid colours and weird shape. Excellent discovery and well taken photo. I like it!

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2010-02-05 21:30]

Hi ManYee

What a gooey lot (or as you said: "slimy globs") you have here? Although there are many
images of various puffballs on the site I couldn't find any previous postings of this specific
species. So, this one is #13 of TrekNature 1st's (from your extensive portfolio), since mid
November 2009 that you contributed to my theme for "RARE or SIGNIFICANT contributions
to TN
". The images shows good details of the fungi, lovely natural colour rendition, and a
good composition showing the subject in its natural environment.

Good work and TFS.
Take care and have a great weekend MF.

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