From the Proto-Indo-European *dʰuh₂li-, from *dʰewh₂-. See also Latin furvus, “dark, swarthy,” and fūmus, “smoke.” For the terminal element, compare -īgō. A reference to the sooty appearance of the spores
From Ancient Greek σηπτικός (sēptikós), “septic, putrefying”
This slime mold has some pretty unsavory names, like dog vomit, but it is commonplace in damp weather, on rotting leaves, wood and in bark mulch. It munches on fungal spores, bacteria, and other microbes. Slime mold is
pretty amazing stuff. It is a “eukaryotic microbe”—a giant, single-celled organism, one of more than 30,000
Identification: The bright yellow, jellylike slime, which seems to
appear out of nowhere after wet weather, is conspicuous and hard to confuse. Photo 22 shows it in a hard, crusty phase, with a white powdery top. In photo 11, it is
in its dormant, dried out phase. This looks a bit like soil, but it is a fine powder which explodes like
a smoke bomb if you step on it.
Edibility: Just kidding.
I took a time lapse movie of this slime mold, atop some decaying bark mulch. It appeared to be
dormant for most of the several hours, but in this segment, covering about 15-20 minutes, it seems to
come alive like a creature from the Twilight Zone:
8 · It looks like the slime mold altered the development of the mushroom. · 7/12/2013 · Wooden Bridge, East Pepperell, Massachusetts ≈ 6 × 5" (14 × 13 cm)
Roughly 75 people in North America are poisoned each year by mushrooms, often from eating a poisonous species that resembles an edible species. Though deaths are rare, there is no cure short of a liver transplant for severe poisoning. Don’t eat any mushroom unless you are absolutely certain of its identity! Please don’t trust the identifications on this site. We aren’t mushroom experts and we haven’t focused on safely identifying edible species.
Fuligo septica description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.