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Star Stinkhorn

Star Stinkhorn
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Fungi
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2012-10-22
Categories: Fungi
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC HX1, Sony G lens 20x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 125
Exposure: f/4, 1/2000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2013-07-03 8:05
Viewed: 4201
Points: 50
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Star Stinkhorn / Aseroë rubra

I captured this Star Stinkhorn in the Fernkloof Nature Reserve during our October 2012 holiday. I could easily dwell in this beautiful Nature Reserve for hours as there are such a lot of diverse subjects to photograph and the opportunities are endless. Flowers, birds, reptiles, plants and also fungi are just a few to mention to be found in this great reserve near Hermanus.

This is my 1st posting of a fungus and I really hope that the fungi experts Lou and Laszlo as well as all other members like it. A photograph of this star shaped fungus was posted way back in 2005 by Gareth Lusty (theLizardMan).

Aseroë rubra, commonly known as the anemone stinkhorn, sea anemone fungus and starfish fungus, is a common and widespread basidiomycete fungus recognizable for its foul odour of carrion and its sea anemone shape when mature. Found in gardens on mulch and in grassy areas, it resembles a red star-shaped structure covered in brownish slime on a white stalk. It attracts flies, which spread its spores.

Aseroë rubra was collected in 1800 in southern Tasmania and named by the French botanist Jacques Labillardičre. The scientific name is derived from the Ancient Greek words Asē/αση 'disgust' and roē/ροη 'juice’, and the Latin ruber 'red'. It is a member of the stinkhorn family Phallaceae though has been placed by some mycologists in a separate family Clathraceae. Like them it bears its spores in a brownish slime which smells of feces or carrion and attracts flies, which spread the spores.

It begins as a partly buried whitish egg-shaped structure 3cm in diameter, which bursts open as a hollow white stalk with reddish arms erupts and grows to a height of 10cm. It matures into a reddish star-shaped structure with arms up to 3.5cm long radiating from the central area. The top of the fungus is covered with dark olive-brown slime or gleba, which smells of rotting meat. There is a cup-shaped volva at the base that is the remnants of the original egg.

A saprotroph, it is found on decomposing plant matter as well as on woodchips and mulch and is common in gardens and amenities plantings. It also occurs in alpine grasslands and woodlands.

From its natural habitat it appears to have travelled to other parts of the world in garden or soil products; it was recorded growing on soil transported from Australia in a glasshouse in Kew Gardens in 1829 and later in California in North America. Transport in garden or soil products does not explain its presence on remote Pacific islands or its occurrence in South Africa in localities remote from any garden. These unexplained localities cast doubt on the assumption that the species was spread from Australia and New Zealand by the agency of man. Recently, A. rubra var. zeylanica which differ in size (3-4.5cm) and salmon pink to reddish orange unbranched arms or tentacles has been reported from the Western Ghats, Kerala, India. This fungus is distributed in the semi-evergreen to evergreen forests and Eucalyptus stands at high ranges. Source

I hope you enjoyed looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

Hormon_Manyer, oldferret, maaciejka, Hotelcalifornia, samiran88, aruntp, CeltickRanger, marius-secan, iti, jrobertop has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Anne,

An interesting and colourful in the true sense of the word, I can only imagine the smell. Taken from a nice overhead view with good details and good colours. A good note explaining it names.
TFS and kind regards Bill.

Hi Anna,
I'm glad to be the first in the queue to congratulate for this wonderful photo. Many tropical stinkhorn species of Phallaceae family are very spectacular, albeit their smell is quite unpleasant to us, human beings. Their spores are spread by insects (unlike of the other fungi), that's why these stinkhorns needed this evolutionary step. About the photo: excellent composition with the star-form + perfect color saturation. Great shot of a tropical / subtropical beauty. Bravo!
Best regards, László

Hello Anna,
Nice closeup of a beautiful species,excellent colours saturation and details.
Best regards,

hallo Anna
great shot of this beautiful fungi
very good sharpness and details
the colours are beautiful to
thanks gr lou

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2013-07-03 10:06]

Hello Anna,
What a striking image! The colours of this fungus are almost unreal. Fantastic brightness and excellent sharpness. Nice centred composition.

Hi Anna,
unusual photo of this fungus. Like a star. Nice colours. Great composition. Very interesting.
Have a nice evening,

Hello Anne,
I haven't seen before this specie.Well captured.Simply beautiful.Nice color and POV.Like it.
Thanks for adding this specie here in TN,
Kind regards,

Ciao Anna, great capture of fantastic star, splendid light, wonderful colors and excellent clarity, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2013-07-03 13:23]

Hello Anna,
a very beautiful macro shot of Star Stinkhorn, superb sharpness and bright colous, very well composed.Regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2013-07-03 18:14]

Hello Anna,
Seems like the Fernkloof Nature Reserve was a treasure trove for you on this particular day. I have never seen a fungus quite like this little beauty. Doesn't sound like it has a very pleasant smell, but it definitely makes up for it's shortcomings in beautiful features. Congratulations on a wonderful image an also on your first fungi post.

Hello Anna,
Beautiful close up this colourful Fungi with awesome detail.
you chose also a perfect PoV to its beauty.
best wishes,

Hi Anne,
照的很清晰 第一次見這特別的植物 真是美麗
構圖也很棒 謝謝分享 STONE

Hi Anna,
Beautiful photography of this Star Stinkhorn.
Great natural color and details.
Nice point of view.
Thanks for sharing.


this is interesting. i love its color and you have framed it beautifully. good work. tfs.

Hello Anna

Congratulations for this first time,
fine POV, excellent light, great focus,
sharpness, details, and contrast, TFS


Hi Anna.

Good colours and definition.

Cheers Dave.

  • Great 
  • Ishi Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 298 W: 21 N: 1943] (13387)
  • [2013-07-05 1:21]

Amazing specimen, Anna! Great picture. Very interesting note.



Hello Anne,
Thanks for visiting my gallery....I was very busy in the last days and I have no time for TN....The images you post are superb. This is a very nice and interesting photo. Perfect details as usual and excellent focus.
Thanks for sharing!

Good spotting of this typical fungus..nice capture

  • Great 
  • john1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 122 W: 0 N: 439] (3410)
  • [2013-07-06 15:15]

Hi Anne,

Intense color and very nice close-up, the détails and the sharpness are superb.
Excellent shot, very nice note to.
Have a good sunday.

Hello dear Anne!
Nice to meet you here again( I am always absent these lately times.
This shot is really strange and for this reason catches the eye!And...at last I love the red color!Thanks for sharing this lovely work.
Thanks also for visiting my gallery and for your kind comments.I reaaly appreciated it!
Best regards to you and your beautiful family!

Excellent document of this species, good capture
TFS & best regards

Amazing fungus Anna! Great photo too! The colours are fantastic! The sharpness is impressive!

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2013-07-11 11:44]

Hi Anne,
Nice and interesting fungi in nice colours in good contrast against the background. Too bad the photos do not feel the smell, it would be more realistic.
Regards Jiri.

Great capture, Anna!
Interesting "red star".
I like to shoot the fungi also.

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