Octopus Stinkhorn found in Devon

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Yardie_Bee
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Octopus Stinkhorn found in Devon

Post by Yardie_Bee » Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:56 pm

Hello,

I'm pretty certain this is an Octopus Stinkhorn. I took the first three photo's on my iPhone this morning (19/09/15) at 11:57, the last two photos I took this evening, at 18:50, using my Nikon D810 after (successfully?) id'ing the fungus. I was hoping to getting some better quality pic's but found it looking shrivelled and rather pathetic.

The co-ordinates for the location found are:

Grid Reference
SS 90606 11816

X (Easting) : Y (Northing) :
290606 111816

Latitude : Longitude :
50.895431 -3.5568666

Address (near) : Thorn Hill, Tiverton, Devon EX16, UK
Postcode (nearest) : EX16 8JQ

I didn't notice any smell from it when I first found it (although my dog DID which is what made me go and check out what he had found), however, after doing my research before heading back out to get better photographs, I read that it has a disgusting odour (which it uses to attract insects/flies to transport it's spores). After photographing it for the second time I got very/too close for a sniff and it really does have a disgusting/ripe smell to it. Lesson learnt!
Attachments
IMG_6651.jpg
IMG_6652.jpg
IMG_6657.jpg
2015_untitled-65-Edit.jpg
2015_untitled-86.jpg

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Lancashire Lad
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Re: Octopus Stinkhorn found in Devon

Post by Lancashire Lad » Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:16 am

Hi, and welcome to UK Fungi.

Yes, without a doubt your find is Clathrus archeri.

A very nice find indeed - and excellent photos!

Still pretty rare in the UK, (92 records in total), but I believe it is becoming more widespread.

The common English name here in the UK,(accepted by the British Mycological Society), is "Devil's Fingers" - but it is sometimes referred to as Octopus Stinkhorn (Maybe that's the Australian or American equivalent common name?).
I understand it was originally found only in Australia, and is (according to the Collins Fungi Guide), "thought to have been introduced into Britain in 1914 with war supplies".

I was amongst a small group of fungi minded friends, who, a couple of years back, were shown a remarkable fruiting of these, growing in woodchip mulched border gardens of a public car park in Derby.

A few of which shown in the pics below: -

Regards,
Mike.
Attachments
Clathrus archeri (1).jpg
Clathrus archeri - Devil's Fingers
Clathrus archeri (2).jpg
Clathrus archeri - Devil's Fingers
Clathrus archeri (3).jpg
Clathrus archeri - Devil's Fingers
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adampembs
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Re: Octopus Stinkhorn found in Devon

Post by adampembs » Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:58 pm

I'ved emailed the link to the local recorder in Devon :)
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Yardie_Bee
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Re: Octopus Stinkhorn found in Devon

Post by Yardie_Bee » Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:39 pm

Thanks Mike and Adam,

I went back today to see how it looked - it was the same as when I saw it all shrivelled last night. There is definitely a second 'bulb' (I don't know the technical term).
Do either of you know (or anyone else) the life span of it's flowering phase? I'm hoping it will be longer than a day because I want to get better photo's than I did of the first one!

Jane

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Re: Octopus Stinkhorn found in Devon

Post by Lancashire Lad » Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:15 pm

Hi,

Unfortunately, the Stinkhorn type fungi (typically) only last from between a matter of minutes to a couple of hours in best condition.
The gleba (the dark, slimy, and smelly, spore bearing goo!), rapidly gets eaten by flies and beetles attracted by the smell.
Thereafter, depending on species, they rapidly deteriorate.

The fruitbodies, in various states of decay, might last for several days - but you really need to be there at exactly the right time to catch them at their best.

The "eggs", take quite a few days to develop, but, depending on numerous factors - weather/temperature etc., once fully developed, they may stay in that condition for days or even weeks.
After which, the "egg" ruptures, and the fruitbody grows to reach full size in a matter of a few hours..

So, it really comes down to pure luck whether you might be able to catch the fruitbody freshly emerged from the "egg".

Regards,
Mike.
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Re: Octopus Stinkhorn found in Devon

Post by DanTe » Wed Oct 28, 2015 5:19 pm

Hello all..
I found a quite remarkable group of these in the new forest on Sunday, counted 12 open/opening fruiting bodies with a further 6 or 7 eggs.
I did try and post with pictures yesterday but it didn't seem to if worked.
I had to go straight to Phillips when I got back to find out what they were.
Is it worth me letting te Hampshire fungi recorder know?
Can't seem to add my pic as it says 'file too large'

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Re: Octopus Stinkhorn found in Devon

Post by Leif » Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:16 pm

Hello Dan

I suspect (s)he would love to know the location and date. You can check the FRDBI to see if there are other records for the New Forest. I would certainly like to know the grid reference, by PM, if possible, only so I can take a photo this year, or in the future since they tend to reappear in subsequent years.

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Re: Octopus Stinkhorn found in Devon

Post by Leif » Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:26 pm

The FRDBI has several records for the NF and South Hants. Nice find though.

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