Lamproderma muscorum is a slime mold that is known for its beautiful iridescent glow. It is found in forests all over the world and typically grows on dead wood.
The slime mold begins its life as a white ooze that emerges from a log. Within days, the ooze starts to turn into small beads. These beads eventually turn pinkish and develop an intense iridescence when viewed under torchlight.
The iridescence of Lamproderma muscorum is caused by a thin layer of chitin crystals that cover the surface of the beads. Chitin is the same material that makes up the exoskeletons of insects.
The role of the chitin crystals in Lamproderma muscorum is not fully understood, but it is thought that they may help to protect the slime mold from predators or to attract pollinators.
Lamproderma muscorum is a fascinating creature that is well worth seeking out on a forest walk. Its rainbow glow is a truly magical sight to behold.
Quote from Sarah Lloyd:
Lamproderma muscorum is one of the most beautiful and fascinating creatures that I have ever seen. Its iridescence is truly magical, and it is a reminder of the wonder and diversity of the natural world.”