Clathrus archeri is commonly known as octopus stinkhorn, or Devil’s Finger, is a fungus indigenous to Australia and New Zealand. Also it is introduced species in Europe, North America and Asia. In Britain this amazing fungus is usually known as Devil’s Fingers. However, in many parts of the USA it is referred to as the Octopus Fungus. This crazy organism looks better suited to life on Proteus than Earth the fungal “egg” opens, unleashing four to eight blood-red arms.
A large, starfish-like fruit-body whose 4 to 8 arched red arms are coated with a smelly gleba on the upper surface, the mature fruit-body is typically 20cm across with arms arching to 10cm in height. Devils Finger habitually is a saprobic and mainly found in leaf litter under trees and shrubs; also increasingly on bark mulch in parks and gardens.
The young fungus erupts from a sub-erumpent egg by forming into four to seven elongated slender arms originally erect and attached at the top. After that arms unfold to reveal a pinkish-red interior covered with a dark-olive spore-containing gleba. Therefore, at the time of maturity it smells like putrid flesh. Before rupturing the ball or egg of Clathrus archeri is typically 2 to 3cm in diameter.
The bright red color makes this remarkable species very easy to identify; however, it is a relatively rare find in Britain and mainly found in the south of England and in the Channel Islands. Devil’s Finger is not proven to be toxic, but it is treated as suspect, can tolerate the stench it’s a risky snack.
In fact the eggs of numerous stinkhorns are edible, but there are no archives of fights having taken place over these delicacies as there surely are over truffles, morels and some kinds of edible boletes. The arms of Devil’s Fingers emerge vertically and spread out, making the gleba accessible to insects.
It is by this means that the spores are distributed. In the recent times Devil’s fingers, with white tentacles or arms has been witnessed in the Shola Forests of Western Ghats, Kerala, India. Read More Sad Story of Stuckie The Mummified Dog
Originally posted 2017-10-10 17:33:11.