Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Egg on my face

My friend Dave will know what this is, I thought. He's the local expert on insects. So I emailed the photo to him, and asked him what insect he thought could have laid these tiny eggs. I'd found them attached to a plant stalk, close to the ground, in the Brisbane Ranges several days ago.

Not eggs, he said. Eggs would be even in size and laid in a pattern. Maybe it's a fungus, he said. So I hit the reference books. Slime moulds develop sporangia after the slime stage, and this is the shape of one of the forms. [Check out Fuhrer's A field guide to Australian fungi, p351 - it's very similar to my photo. It's label is Leocarpus fragilis.]


Mosura said...

That's pretty amazing. I can see why you would assume it might be eggs.

Gouldiae said...

G'day Boobook,
I agree with Mosura.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Boobook
I must admit I first thought of one of the larger Scale Insects, but the fact that it is close to the ground fits more with a Slime Mould. I have seen some other slime moulds which form pustule like structures. So, on balance I think you are right. Weird creatures, those things.
Nice clear photo.