Wolf's Milk Slime Mould (Lycogala epidendrum) (Grinlow 2020) (Jon Mortin)
Trichia Slime Mould (Grinlow Woods 2011) (Jon Mortin)
Enerthenema papillatun (Sherbrook Wood 2021) (Jon Mortin)

Slime Moulds

Text and photos contributed by Jon Mortin.

Slime Moulds (Myxomycetes) used to be classified as fungi but now they are grouped with the mainly single celled organisms (such as Amoeba) known as Protists. Slime moulds can exist as single cells but are also known to combine together into large aggregations for feeding and reproduction. 

About slime moulds

Slime Moulds feed on bacteria and fungi and can be found in soil, grassland or (most commonly) on decaying wood. They often form quite large and colourful fruiting structures such as the bright yellow Dog’s Vomit Slime Mould (Fuligo septica).

Slime moulds in the High Peak

Worldwide there are over 900 species of Slime Mould, but so far only 4 or 5 species have been found in the High Peak. These include Wolf’s Milk Slime Mould (Lycogala epidendrum) found in Grinlow and Sherbrook Woods.

Records for slime moulds in High Peak and Buxton on iNaturalist

For these buttons with the solid borders to work properly you will need to be registered and logged into iNaturalist. This is a free and extremely useful app. See our ‘How to record wildlife’ page for more information and tips on how to use it.

Takes you to the up-to-date list and photo galleries of all slime mould observations within the High Peak area, as recorded on iNaturalist

Takes you to the up-to-date list and photo galleries of all slime mould observations within the ‘Buxton polygon’ area, as recorded on iNaturalist and collected by the Buxton Biodiversity Recording Group project

Slime moulds have no brain but when they join together they can grow, travel, make decisions and solve complex problems as they hunt down their food. A fascinating account of slime moulds and what recent research has shown about their behaviour is given in the chapter ‘Decisive Matter’ in Life’s Edge: The Search for What It Means to Be Alive, by Carl Zimmer (Picador).

Wolf's Milk Slime Mould (Lycogata) (J Mortin)

For a fascinating and beautiful collection of close-up images of slime moulds, try the website of Barry Webb.

Identifying slime moulds

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Information and guidance