Description and habitatEdit
Like many slime molds, the cells of this species typically aggregate to form a plasmodium, a multinucleate mass of undifferentiated cells that may move in an ameboid-like fashion during the search for nutrients. F. septicas plasmodium may be anywhere from white to yellow-gray,typically 2.5–20 cm (1.0–7.9 in) in diameter, and 1–3 cm (0.4–1.2 in) thick. The plasmodium eventually transforms into a sponge-like aethalium, analogous to the spore-bearing fruiting body of a mushroom; which then degrades, darkening in color, and releases its dark-colored spores. This species is known to have its spores dispersed by beetles (family Lathridiidae).
The spores have a two-layered wall, with a dense outer layer with spines, and a fibrous inner layer. During germination, the outer layer splits to create an opening, and more elastic inner layer ruptures later as protoplasm emerges. A remnant of the inner layer may be persistent and adhere to the protoplast after it has emerged from the spore. A peroxidase enzyme present in the inner cell wall plays a role in germination.
Fuligo septica grows on rotten wood and plant debris, but can also grow on the leaves and stems of living plants.
This species is known to cause asthma and allergenic rhinitis in susceptible people.