14 April 2013

What grew up in the millipede tank

My millipede is a fairly self-contained creature, so I do not check on it very often, as it only seems to like to eat old decaying leaves and wood, which I bring once in a while and then leave the animal to do the job. However, there are lots of little things that one can bring home with an organic material like this - I have had little centipedes, snails, woodlice, pill millipedes and other little arthropods, but the last time I opened the tank, I saw something unbelievable. At least half of the surface of the soil there was covered in a yellow net-like organism.

As my friends tell me (I am not great at identifying this type of creatures), it belongs to the group of Mycetozoa or slime molds. This phase of their life cycle can be quite sizeable and they have the most wonderful and bright colours imaginable. Next time you are in a forest, try zooming in a bit on a fallen log or something similar, you might be lucky to find one!


  1. That is so beautiful, I've never seen this before. I have a corner of the garden that I leave old logs and leaves and things to rot down in. I hope one day to find stag beetles have moved in. (there is lots of other bugs but no stag beetles yet)I will have to take a closer look to see if anything like this is living in the pile. Fingers crossed.

  2. it looks like a painting of a tree...very interesting.

  3. They are beautiful. I saw some in the forest when I was doing fieldwork for uni, but much smaller ones. They are some pretty amazing videos of the growth of these on Youtube as well.

    Lisa - that is exactly what I am going to do in my garden, once I have one. Have you got some pictures of the bugsere on your blog? I would love to see them! :)

  4. I love this little green guy, he seems to come out of a Sci Fi movie <3
    Aaaaw the lovely little tommyknocker ! <3

  5. Actually, it was yellow. My camera is having some problems at the moment, I am hoping to buy a new one or repair this one very soon.


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