13 December 2018: A large – 100 mm x 100 mm – mass of dark matter appeared on sawdust-like material at the base of a large eucalypt stump not far from the house. It was unlike any slime mould I’d ever seen. Many are white, yellow, bright pink or orange when they first appear and gradually go dark as their spores mature, this one was completely different.
I monitored it for a day and, apart from the crust gradually cracking as it dried out, its appearance didn’t change. And because it was so distinctive, it was very easy to identify.
Lindbladia tubulina is apparently a very variable species (aren’t they all!). The one I found is fairly typical, being made up of densely-packed sporangia heaped in layers to form a pseudoaethalium. The upper layer would have dried prematurely to form the dark crust.
I searched the internet and found one record of this species in Australia collected in 1937. Given the colour of the fruiting body, it is likely to be overlooked.
Lindbladia is a monotypic genus closely related to Cribraria in the Cribrariaceae family.