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Dictydium cancellatum         Chinese Lantern

The Chinese Lantern slime mould is quite common across the country but is hard to spot. It is only a few millimetres tall and is often similar in colour to the well-rotted logs on which it fruits. This species has no capillitium to support the spore mass. The outer wall of the sporangium is thickened with stout ribs. The membranous peridium between the ribs breaks down and the surviving ribs then form a cage. The spore mass is contained inside the cage. The pendant head of the sporangium nods in the air currents and the spores trickle through the bars of the cage to be dispersed by air.

As it posesses no capillitium this species would be placed in the order Liceales.  For photomicrographs of this species click here.