February 17, 2015
This illustration depicts this Clathrus archeri volva cut longitudinally allowing a glimpse of the green gleba and the red receptaculum contained within a clear gel that supports these structures during their development.
If allowed to mature, the volva splits allowing red tentacles to emerge entirely warranting the name “octopus stinkhorn.”
The “egg” stage like this is edible–preferably fried–but some species of stinkhorns are used frequently in Chinese cuisine; here they may be dried for later use in soups. Interestingly enough though, while this and other cut volvas were drying, their fruiting bodies continued to expand in an attempt to take their normal final form.
This any many other C. archeri were found outside of Choachi, Colombia near Cerro el Quinto in early June. The constant rainfall and cool climate there likely had much to do with the slow speed of drying the sectioned stinkhorn eggs.
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