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Stinky squid stinkhorn mushrooms

A stinky squid stinkhorn mushroom.
Wikimedia Commons
A stinky squid stinkhorn mushroom.

Pseudocolus fusiformis is a species of stinkhorn mushroom commonly called the "stinky squid" due to it's odor and the three or four tentacle-like growths that connect at the top.



Hi, this is Rudy Mancke from University of South Carolina for NatureNotes.

Bob Peasley from the Fountain Inn area sent me a picture of a stinkhorn mushroom, and he had already identified it. He said he thought he had looked it up and it was the stinky squid stinkhorn mushroom. And he was right!

It looks like a squid jet propelling itself away from you with trailing the tentacles behind. The tentacles are spongy looking in this little stinkhorn mushroom, joined at the top. Usually you find it associated with mulch or decaying logs. And really it is an amazing species. A lot of people think it might actually be an introduced species from Asia, Usually three or four red or yellow arms, looking like a squid.

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Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's <i>NatureScene</i>, which began its long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy's knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards. After retiring from SCETV, Rudy went on to become naturalist-in-residence at the University of South Carolina, Columbia. He hosted SC Public Radio's <i>NatureNotes</i> from 1999 until his death in 2023 at age 78.