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Friday, 8 September 2017

Strange red fungus(?)

Perhaps Serratia marcesens.?

Back in July Stephanie put a post on the site that included this odd-looking species, mostly red, with brown and white bits. It was growing on a spruce log in Llyn Llech Owain. Looking through various books nothing really suited it bearing in mind its striking colours. I have never been a fan of Facebook, but recently I have come to realise that there are some super Mushroom ID sites on there, some with many 1,000s of members and so easy just to pop your picture on. Which I did with Stephanie's specimen and someone has come back saying that it is probably a fungus that has been infected with the bacteria Serratia marcescens. He may be wrong but it certainly looks like a viable option.

By a strange coincidence last week Colin Miles showed me something he found growing on a branch in his garden and it has the same combination of red, brown and white -shown below, although it was far smaller. In this case it certainly looks like the red bits have settled onto some sort of fungus base. So perhaps it is the same sort of bacterial infection. Also a few days afterwards I found what seems to be the same sort of fungus with the brown and white colouring but without the red contamination. All fascinating stuff isn't it!


  1. Splendid --- ain't life fun. Looking at Steph's photo I thought it looked like a bracket of some sort attacked by 'something'. Serratia macerens seems a good candidate.
    This is an interesting rod shaped gram negative bacterium. Can cause hospital acquired infection so a serious human pathogen (don't suck it and see). Called bleeding bread due to the pigment --and can grow on almost anything! The US experimented with this for bio-warfare during the cold war . A very useful bacterial orgnism if you know how to use it --- not giving anyone any ideas!

  2. Good god lol
    I always find toxic things he he

  3. That's a heck of an interesting story Philip. Love it.