However, stinkhorns are very attractive....to flies.
|Flies on a stinkhorn, eating slime|
As the flies consume the slimy coating on the head, they are ingesting spores, also spores are sticking to their feet. In this way, the fungal spores are transported to new locations. What an intriguing passive spore dispersal system.
Feed the flies and catch a ride.
Stink to the sky 'n ride a fly.
Stinkhorn mushrooms "erupt" out of an "egg". In the photo above, the "egg" is visible as the swelling at the base of the mushroom. I didn't see other eggs nearby, but perhaps there are some hidden in the leaf litter that might pop up shortly.
Since I'm on the subject of stinkhorns, I was walkin' trail earlier this summer in the Washington, D.C area and noticed another kind of stinkhorn, the Dog Stinkhorn.
Anyway, back to the flies....
up the trail a bit was one of the stinkhorn's party-going flies which I had inadvertently scattered.
This fly was walking around on a leaf....so naturally I'm thinking about the fly's slime-tainted footprints and its spore-laden gut contents.
Where might it tread next...my shoo-fly pie?
Here is a link to a time-lapse video of a growing stinkhorn and its busy flies.