Slime mould, what do we know about it? Personally, not much so when I spotted this weeks photo of the week I wanted to delve a little bit deeper into the kingdom Protista of which metatrichia floriformis (pictured below) belongs. So here are three facts about slime mould to get your brains wurring ahead of the weekend:

  1. Worldwide there are over 900 species of slime moulds. The one below is metatrichia floriformis found at RSPB Leighton Moss.
  2. They can travel remarkably far. One group of researchers identified slime moulds in New Zealand that were genetically identical to those in the USA (PBS News Hour). In an experiment back in 2012, Australian scientists were able to test whether slime mould could solve a maze set up in a petri dish with a sugary treat at the end. Of the moulds tested 96% were able to find their way round the maze. How does it do this? In essence, the mould knows where it’s been before. (BBC Nature)
  3. Slime moulds come in every colour, except true green. This is due to a lack of chlorophyll.

This alien-like species, metatrichia floriformis, was found at RSPB Leighton Moss by Nature’s Home reader Tamar Bennet Margrave.

What an amazing photo, the focus really shows how this slime mould can spread and the habitat in which you could find some. It's inspired me to learn more and I've grown some love for this slimey specimen.Thanks for sending this one in Tamar.

If you’ve got an interesting photo you’d like to share send it to natureshome@rspb.org.uk and you could have your pictures published on our blog or in magazine.

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