Spotted this Slime Mold (Common Name: Chocolate Tube Slime, Genus: Stemonitis, Species: Axifera) growing in the back yard (southwest Louisiana). This is its fruiting stage, where it creates a stalk, and a weaved sac (capillitium), that contains tiny spores. The germinating amoeboid gamete spores fuse into zygotes becoming a crawling and sprawling plasmodium slime, that later produces more spore filled sacs. They consume decomposing matter, like dead wood and leaves. On the tree of life, being neither a plant or an animal, molds are in the kingdom Protista.
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