Myxomycete Reference books

by Sarah Lloyd

I first learnt about slime moulds through my involvement with the Fungimap project because several myxomycetes Lycogala epidendrum, Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa and Fuligo septica are Fungimap 'targets'.

The first book I purchased was Stephenson, S.L. & Stempen H. (1994) Myxomycetes a handbook of slime moulds, Timber Press, Oregon. This is an excellent book for beginners as it has a great introductory section about general biology, structural features, collecting slime moulds, ecology, distribution etc. It has comprehensive descriptions and line drawings of a range of common species with many other species mentioned.

It didn't take long before I needed a more comprehensive coverage and managed to track down The Myxomycetes by Martin and Alexopoulos (The Myxomycetes, Martin, G.W. & Alexopoulos, C.J. (1969) University of Iowa Press, Iowa City). This book covers about 400 species.

The next addition to my slime mould reference library was the excellent two volume set Les Myxomycètes by Michel Poulain, Marianne Meyer and Jean Bozonnet. (2011) Federation mycologique et botanique Dauphine-Savoie Le Prieure, Sevrier.

Volume 1 is devoted to keys and brief descriptions. The first half is in French and the second half in English. The second volume has colour photographs of 530 of the 853 taxa described in the keys. It also has line drawings of microscopic structures such as spores, elaters and capillitia.

The information in the book is based mostly on the extremely extensive collections of Jean Bozonnet (4,000 specimens) and Marianne Meyer (35,000 specimens) Meyer's collection concentrates on the nivicolous (i.e. 'snowbank') species that are commonly found in the alpine mountains of Savoie where her work is concentrated.

The three volume De Myxomyceten by Neubert et al. (1993 – 2003) is in German. As a non-German speaker I can access some of the text because of the similarity in technical terms. However, the very extensive ecological and other notes are only accessible if I undergo the laborious task of typing the text into 'Google translate'. The book has excellent photos, helpful drawings and Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) images of spores.

A Guide to Temperate Myxomycetes by N.E. Nannenga-Bremekamp (1991) has extensive descriptions of many myxomcyetes with line drawings and discussion about similar species. I have found it to be an excellent addition to my Myxo library.

My latest purchase Myxomycetes of New Zealand by S.L. Stephenson (2003) also has comprehensive descriptions of species and comments that assist in identification. It has very few drawings but is useful because of its southern hemisphere focus.

- Slime mould lurks in shadow of giant inflorescence (Fungimap)
- Discover Life probably has the most extensive collection of slime mould images on the web
- University of Arkansas
- Introductory page on myxomycota from University of Hawaii
- New Zealand's The Hidden Forest has many identified moulds on their site
- A Russian site,, has lots of named slime moulds
- Another Russian site with beautiful images of slime moulds. (warning: the file contains 33 images totalling 5.3MB.

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