102 pages, colour photos
Where the Slime Mould Creeps introduces the fascinating world of myxomycetes, the plasmodial or acellular slime moulds. It describes their life cycle, the different types of plasmodia and fruiting bodies, and includes numerous photographs that illustrate this important but little-known subject. This second edition includes updated information based on the latest research from around the world; additional personal accounts of slime mould 'hotspots'; and the species list for Black Sugarloaf – and Australia – has been updated. Also included are some of Thomas McBride's poetic descriptions from his 1899 book The North American Slime-Moulds; and thoughts about the function of iridescence in these 'biological jewels of nature'.
The number of species depicted in this edition has increased to 107 and almost all the photographs in the first edition have been replaced with images using focus stacking. Also included are more time-lapse series to show the remarkable changes the plasmodia undergo as they form fruiting bodies, micrographs that capture the ornate microscopic features found within their spore mass, and scanning electron micrographs (SEM) that show features not revealed by conventional microscopes. Where the Slime Mould Creeps is packed with information intended for the general reader. Its numerous photographs and clear descriptions of key features should enable identification to family or genus for anyone lucky enough to find a slime mould.
"It is easy to overlook slime moulds – they tend to be tiny, evanescent and found in dark and damp places. Yet they can be extraordinarily beautiful. Sarah Lloyd, a naturalist, writer and photographer from northern Tasmania, has produced a wonderful book that explores this fascinating group of organisms. [...] Identification of slime moulds usually requires the use of a microscope to determine the size, shape and ornamentation of the spores and capillitia. Descriptions of the species are not included and only occasionally are the microscopic characters displayed. However, the images (many photographed with the aid of a microscope) are vivid and attractive. They portray the fine detail and beauty of the specimens and are representative of the species. [...] Sarah's writing style is clear, informative and entertaining. Her enthusiasm for her subject is obvious and the reader is brought along in this journey of discovery and appreciation. An interesting and effective device is the inclusion of many scholarly quotations and references dotted throughout the book. These fascinating anecdotal snippets are often offered without comment. They inform and illuminate the topic. The book can be read from cover to cover, but one can just as easily open a page almost at random and dip in to find an interesting fact or a beautiful image. This is not simply a reference book, or even a field guide, although I suspect many readers will use it as such. I think it is more inspirational. The reader is drawn into this fascinating and beautiful world and invited to explore it further. [...]"
- Paul George, Fungimap Newsletter #53
"Slime moulds would have to rank amongst the most obscure of the common forms of life on earth. Although widely prevalent in most parts of the habitable world they are rarely seen by other than the initiated, and few ever recognize what may be before their very eyes. The best explanation for this ignorance is the paucity of literature for the beginner. Apart from a short section on myxomycetes in Fuhrer's fungi book the rest of the available literature is highly technical and forbidding. There has been no widely available hand-held guide available for a complete novice to understand slime moulds. Lloyd is to be commended for filling this vacuum by publishing what is hoped to be the first of her books on myxomycetes. [...]"
- Tom Thekathyil, The Natural News #59, newsletter of the Central North Field Naturalists
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