Colus pusillus

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Colus pusillus
2015-01-23 Colus pusillus (Berk.) Reichert 695656.jpg
Colus pusillus growing gregariously on woodchip mulch, Brisbane, Queensland
Scientific classification
C. pusillus
Binomial name
Colus pusillus
(Berk.) Reichert
  • Clathrus pusillus Berk. (1845)
  • Clathrella pusilla (Berk.) E.Fisch. (1886)

Colus pusillus is a species of fungus in the family Phallaceae. It is found in Australia.[2] It is sometimes known as the craypot stinkhorn or basket stinkhorn, a reference to the unique appearance of the fruiting bodies which consist of vivid red, wrinkled arms that branch and connect to form a cage-like structure reminiscent to that of the related species Clathrus ruber. This fungus is saprobic and makes frequent appearances on garden mulch as a result.

Like all stinkhorns, the fruit body of C. pusillus begins as an egg-like structure. The eggs of C. pusillus are typically off-white, with a red/purple tinge and a faint latticed pattern on the surface. They are anchored to the substrate by one or more root-like rhizomorphs: thickened mycelial strands. The membrane of the "egg" soon ruptures, releasing the rapidly expanding mature receptacle, which can reach a height of around 15 cm. The interior of the cage is covered by an unevenly distributed glebal slime, which contains the fungal spores. This slime is olive-green in colour and has a foul smell, which attracts insects that distribute the fungus' spores to a suitable location.


  1. ^ "GSD Species Synonymy: Colus pusillus (Berk.) Reichert". Retrieved 2014-03-13.
  2. ^ Dring DM. (1980). "Contributions towards a rational arrangement of the Clathraceae". Kew Bulletin. 35 (1): 1–96+ii. doi:10.2307/4117008.

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