Clathrus Ruber. Commonly known as the latticed stinkhorn, basket stinkhorn, or red cage, it is a species of fungus in the stinkhorn family usually native to Europe. While its common names derive from the appearance of its fruiting bodies, but initially these appear similar to an off-white “egg,” attached to the ground by cords called rhizomorphs. The fruit body can reach heights of up to 20 cm, with colors ranging from pink to orange to red, thanks to the pigments lycopene and beta-carotene. However, despite it’s compelling appearance, it has an odor similar to rotting meat, which attracts flies and other insects to help disperse its spores. (image via)

Clathrus Ruber. Commonly known as the latticed stinkhorn, basket stinkhorn, or red cage, it is a species of fungus in the stinkhorn family usually native to Europe. While its common names derive from the appearance of its fruiting bodies, but initially these appear similar to an off-white “egg,” attached to the ground by cords called rhizomorphs. The fruit body can reach heights of up to 20 cm, with colors ranging from pink to orange to red, thanks to the pigments lycopene and beta-carotene. However, despite it’s compelling appearance, it has an odor similar to rotting meat, which attracts flies and other insects to help disperse its spores. (image via)

Cordyceps

Cordyceps are a group of parasitic fungi containing over 400 described species. Their hosts are ususally insects but they can also infect other fungi. One species parasitizes ants and can change its victim’s behaviour. The cordyceps impels the ant to climb up a stem where it dies. From this elevated vantage point the fungus’s fruiting body grows out of the victim’s body, allowing the spores to be more widely distributed by the wind. Some species, such as the caterpillar fungus, are considered to have medicinal properties in China and Tibet.

Cordyceps

Cordyceps are a group of parasitic fungi containing over 400 described species. Their hosts are ususally insects but they can also infect other fungi. One species parasitizes ants and can change its victim’s behaviour. The cordyceps impels the ant to climb up a stem where it dies. From this elevated vantage point the fungus’s fruiting body grows out of the victim’s body, allowing the spores to be more widely distributed by the wind. Some species, such as the caterpillar fungus, are considered to have medicinal properties in China and Tibet.

Hat-Thrower Fungi

Hat-thrower fungi earn their name from their habit of firing spore capsules away from the parent fungus. The spores stick to grass and can safely pass through a grazing animal’s digestive tract, so that they emerge from the other end in a dollop of dung. These fungi then grow in the dung completing the life cycle. This fungus rarely reaches 5cm in height, but can propel the spore capsule a mighty 2m away.

Hat-Thrower Fungi

Hat-thrower fungi earn their name from their habit of firing spore capsules away from the parent fungus. The spores stick to grass and can safely pass through a grazing animal’s digestive tract, so that they emerge from the other end in a dollop of dung. These fungi then grow in the dung completing the life cycle. This fungus rarely reaches 5cm in height, but can propel the spore capsule a mighty 2m away.

Root rot is a common plant disease that can devastate wheat crops throughout the world. This, and plant of other plant diseases can be caused by the Bipolaris sorokiniana fungus that is pictured above.

Root rot is a common plant disease that can devastate wheat crops throughout the world. This, and plant of other plant diseases can be caused by the Bipolaris sorokiniana fungus that is pictured above.

In June, researchers at San Francisco State University discovered a mushroom species in the forests of Sarawak, Malaysia, that looks like a bright orange sea sponge and smells vaguely fruity. The researchers named it Spongiforma squarepantsii after SpongeBob SquarePants, because the spore-producing area of the fungus looks like a seafloor carpeted in tube sponges.

In June, researchers at San Francisco State University discovered a mushroom species in the forests of Sarawak, Malaysia, that looks like a bright orange sea sponge and smells vaguely fruity. The researchers named it Spongiforma squarepantsii after SpongeBob SquarePants, because the spore-producing area of the fungus looks like a seafloor carpeted in tube sponges.