Clathrus ruber, a cage fungus, is a close relative of the stinkhorns. It, like the stinkhorns, starts as an ‘egg’ with a “white bumpy surface”. It expands into a beautiful “bright reddish-orange or pink, hollow, fragile lattice-work structure”2. It grows singly, scattered or gregariously. It’s odor resembles that of a dead rodent. The purpose has been conjectured that it’s odor attracts flies which then land and investigate the fruiting structure . When the flies depart, they take spores with them, dispersing them to the next mulch heap.
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