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In this picture a gilled fungus, Mycena epipterygia, has been attacked by a parasitic fungus called Spinellus fusiger.   The Spinellus grows throughout the cap of the Mycena then eventually breaks out to produce radiating reproducive stalks (sporangiophores) bearing globose terminal sporangia (= spore containing structures) that you can see here.   Eventually, the spores inside the sporangia will be released by breakdown of the outer sporangial wall and the spores will be passivley dispersed by wind, water, insects etc. to new sites

Spinellus fusiger belongs to a division called the Zygomycota.  This group is composed of fungi that can only be seen in detail using a microscope.  This group produces hyphae that are multinucleate but have no cross walls during the growth phase.   Spinellus reproduces asexually by producing mitospores called aplanospores.  These are formed inside a globose spore mother cell called a sporangium which is borne at the tip of a long stalk (= sporangiophore).  Spinellus can attack different gill fungi  but species of Mycena seem to be the preferred host.

     Spinellus is closely related to the Bread Mould, Rhizopus stoloniferRhizopus, although called the Bread Mould, is much more common on over ripe peaches where it causes a soft brown rot.  Check out Rhizopus using the index.  Why should I make it too easy for you?         

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Spinellus  fruiting on the underside of a gill fungus.   Note the disorientation of the sporangiophores compared to those in the upper photo.  Explain!   Dark heads contain mature spores (pigmented).  Pale heads are still developing.