CA Mushrooms
CA Mushrooms

Book Review

A Companion to Cosmopolitan Slime Molds

By Angela Mele & Steven L. Stephenson
ISBN: 978-0-578-64797-S
Paperback, 63 pages
$16.80 incl. S&H from

This is the most delightful book I know of for the beginning student of slime molds. The illustrations by Angela Mele are far better than photographs — much more artistic, too — in showing the diagnostic features of slime molds. The text by both Ms. Mele and myxomycete expert Steve Stephenson offers (in the immortal words of Joe Friday) just the facts, ma’am — a description of the fruiting body and the size of that fruiting body as well as its chosen substrate. Microscopic information isn’t included because the beginner would only be baffled by learning, for example, that the spores of Stemonitis fusca are 7.5–9 microns in diameter and strongly reticulate. My only quibble with this little book is the print size, which is 7.5–9 microns in diameter … or at least it seems that small to my not necessarily hawk-like eyes.

Let me also recommend Ms. Mele’s no less delightful YouTube video “Physarum roseum — A Tale of a Traveling Slime Mold Saleslady”. If this minifilm doesn’t turn you on to slime molds, nothing will!

— Review by Lawrence Millman
— Originally published in Fungi