Egg-Like Clumps in Lawns
Have you seen clumps of white, yellow, grey or black egg-like things on the grass blades of your lawn? If so, it is likely to be the fruiting bodies of a fascinating ‘thing’ called a slime mould. Slime moulds are associations of single-celled organisms of several different groups. The singles cells can join and form plasmodia that are giant amoeba-like cells containing many nuclei but no cell membranes between. The plasmodia can stream the cytoplasm within the giant cell so that the plasmodia moves; think of the 1958 movie ‘The Blob’!
Slime moulds are commonly found in New Zealand lawns when conditions are warm and humid. The structures can move up grass blades overnight and are often mistaken for clumps of insect eggs or fungal disease. Slime moulds do not cause harm to the lawn, instead, they feed on bacteria and organic matter in the soil.