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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Slime Moulds

Slime Mould Slime mould crusty mass on straw and plant Slime Moulds
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Beginner

Scientific Name
Diachea leucopodia

Identification

  • Slimy or crusty beadlike structures that cover straw, lower leaves, sometimes petioles.
  • Creamy-white, grey, purple or yellow.
  • Eventually produce fruiting structures that are marshmallow-like in texture and produce powdery dry black spores.
  • Occur sporadically, never common .

Often Confused With
Insect eggs

Period of Activity
Slime moulds appear in low-lying vegetation when weather is warm and wet, and generally disappear when hot dry weather returns.

Scouting Notes
Slime moulds are encountered when monitoring for other pests.

Thresholds
None established.

Advanced

Scientific Name
Diachea leucopodia

Identification
Slime moulds are creamy- white, coloured, slimy or crusty masses of fungus. They are found growing over lower leaves or entire areas of straw. They often resemble masses of beads glued to straw or leaves. During warm, wet weather in spring and fall, they can be many colours, grey, white, purple or yellow. Later, slime moulds produce fruiting structures that are marshmallow-like in texture produce powdery dry black spores. Slime moulds occur very infrequently in a field.

Often Confused With
Insect eggs

Biology
Slime moulds are a very primitive form of fungus. Slime moulds survive on decaying organic matter (straw) and by ingesting bacteria and other micro-organisms. Slime moulds do not actually infect strawberry plants, but they do grow on leaves and fruit and do not have an attractive appearance. Occasionally slime moulds appear on strawberry fruit grown in plastic-covered tunnels.

Period of Activity
Slime moulds appear in low-lying vegetation when weather is warm and wet, and generally disappear when hot dry weather returns.

Scouting Notes
Slime moulds are encountered when monitoring for other pests.

Thresholds
None established.

Management Notes

  • Slime moulds do not generally require control, but many fungicides ordinarily applied to strawberries will also control slime moulds.
  • Slime moulds do not reproduce rapidly and do not cause economically significant losses in strawberries.