Earlier this month (after weeks of rain), my first born alerted me to a cluster of eerie, glow-in-the-dark mushrooms that popped up on a log next to our pergola.   They are a bioluminescent fungus, possibly Mycena chlorophos because of their small size (about 20 to 30mm each).  Note the little one on the left is not luminous yet. They disappeared after a few days.  I took photos,  in the dark and in torchlight (to mimic daylight) and my last born put them together in the tricky gif below.  Mesmerising isn’t it….

* “The light is created by a chemical reaction. A substance called luciferin reacts with an enzyme, luciferase, causing the luciferin to oxidise, with the consequent emission of light. Fireflies, glow-worms and a number of marine organisms, such as fish, use bioluminescence to attract prey or mates. The function in fungi is unknown. It has been suggested that it attracts insects which then disperse the spores. It is also possible that the production of light is incidental – although this is unlikely since it is an energy-expensive process.”

And this also happened…


*Source: Wet Tropics – Tropical Topics Newsletter No. 72