Myxomycetes

Images taken in a controlled environment or with a posed subject. All subject types.

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Pitufo
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Post by Pitufo »

This one gave a better "pop" ... Arcyria obvelata.. found yesterday.. The photos were taken over about 36 hours

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Close up of the capillitial network in lactic acid/cotton blue

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Pitufo
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Post by Pitufo »

I found these today.. very likely to be a Physarum (probably leucophaeum or similar).

On collection at around 2pm the heads were almost colourless to pale yellow with an ethereal glow. By the time I could photograph it, around 3pm it had almost developed a faint pinkish/orange tinge. You could almost sense the energy being generated by the hive of cellular activity inside. A single-celled plasmodium divides to form spores, capillitial threads and lays down an external layer containing calcium.

By 5 pm the protective outer coat had darkened and hardened.

EDIT: a couple of extra earlier photos also added for completeness

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Last edited by Pitufo on Sun Jul 03, 2016 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Troels
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Post by Troels »

Beautiful! Look slike candy.
Next step must be a stacked time lapse video :shock:

Troels
Troels Holm, biologist (retired), environmentalist, amateur photographer.
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JH
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Post by JH »

Nice :D

Pitufo
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Post by Pitufo »

Thank you very much for your kind comments :D

Slightly off piste but still containing a myxo, Stemonitopsis typhina, I believe. When looking for myxos, there are almost invariably specialised slime-mould beetles present, often in large numbers.

They usually pop in and out of photos, but this one wandered into view today and had his lunch right in front of me.

I did some reading and these usually belong to the Leiodidae - this one is probably an Agathidium or Anisotoma, but they are tricky to get to species. They are usually round and there defence is to pull in their legs and head, play dead and/or roll off the substrate. Some also have specialised dimples, thought to carry spores and help distribute the myxo.

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ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

Great to see!
Chris R

Troels
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Post by Troels »

Interesting.
Troels
Troels Holm, biologist (retired), environmentalist, amateur photographer.
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Pitufo
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Post by Pitufo »

I've managed to find a few more over the last couple of days. This is Arcyria denudata, quite a common species. It has only just opened up so there are still lots of spores stuck to the capillitium (net structure).
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zzffnn
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Post by zzffnn »

Beautiful images!!
Selling my Canon FD 200mm F/2.8 lens

Pitufo
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Post by Pitufo »

Thank you very much :D

Another pretty and common species which has been locally abundant this week, Trichia decipiens var olivaceous. This will turn brown and then olive over the next few days. I have posted a photo of it previously but I like the way these lined up nicely for me today.

EDIT: first image added showing another group just starting to emerge.

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EDIT:next one in the sequence - about 18 hours later


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EDIT: another 24 hours - they matured very quickly. The heads are packed with coiled threads (elaters) which unwind throwing spores into the air. I managed to get some short videos but the lighting is poor.

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Last edited by Pitufo on Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:44 am, edited 3 times in total.

BugEZ
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Post by BugEZ »

Pitufo,

I reviewed your posts and am not certain what your rig looks like. Can you post an image?

Your results are excellent.

Also, how are you controlling the humidity when photos of a specimen span several days?

I enjoy your posts very much. Myxos were one of my first subjects but I never produced such lovely results.

Kind regards,

Keith Short

BugEZ
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Post by BugEZ »

One more thing...

My initial exposure to stacking was viewing Myxomycetes images made by Walter Piorkowski, a member of this forum. Wally and I both belong to our local astronomy club. He made a presentation on stacking. I was amazed.

Anyway, you may wish to do a search on the forum for "Myxomycetes" and take a peek at some of the images posted by other forum members. Wally did some great work in 2006 forward. Others have also posted some from time to time.

Keith
Aloha

Pitufo
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Post by Pitufo »

Thank you so much for the encouragement Keith. I had seen some of the previous Myxo posts, but not all. There are some very nice photos and development sequences.

My set up is pretty standard fare, a Canon 70D/MP-E65 mounted vertically on a copy stand. The specimen is usually just sat on a glass slide, on top of a circular glass plate placed on a good stereomicroscope base (with fine focus) and hand cranked. I now mainly use a single speedlight flash on low power with a simple paper diffuser. I will post a photo when I have time.

I found the best way to keep developing samples of plasmodia is to place the wood on some kitchen towel, moistened with distilled water, in a plastic tray left in cool conditions in an outbuilding or garage. Don't be tempted to cover them to increase humidity as hyphomycete fungi will rapidly destroy them.

BugEZ
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Post by BugEZ »

Thanks for the description of your rig and tip about keeping the specimen uncovered. I recall that I covered my attempts to rear them and that may explain why so few developed. This was years ago but I recall daily inspection of the sample containers and learning a good bit about the critters that eat Myxomycetes.

K

Pitufo
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Post by Pitufo »

They are also best collected quite close to home as the young plasmodia are shock sensitive. I make individual tinfoil jackets (!) for each specimen before placing them in the compartments of the collecting box. I then drive slowly to minimise vibrations.

Exposing young plasmodia to repeated flashes seems to be a bad idea, especially with Arcyrias.

I have edited the next one in the Trichia decipiens sequence above.

Cheers, John

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