Mutinus caninus (Huds.) Fr., 1849
Common names: Dog stinkhorn [En], Phallus de chien, Satyre des chiens [Fr], Kleine stinkzwam [Nl], Gemeine Hundsrute [De], Φαλλίσκος ο κυνικός [Gr]
Halle, BRABANT ● Belgium
Description: This small thin, phallus-shaped fungus, emerges from an off-white egg-like fruiting body that lies half buried in leaf litter on the woodland floor. White mycelial cords (rhizomorphs), are often visible beneath this 'egg', which is 2–4 cm high, and 1–2 cm wide. The 'egg' has a tough outer skin (peridium), which covers a gelatinous inner layer, which in turn protects the fully formed, but unexpanded fruiting body. When the ‘egg’ splits open the fungus expands rapidly (usually within a few hours), to its full height of 10–12 cm. It is around 1 cm thick, and is either yellowish-white, yellow, or pale orange. The split egg is retained as a volva-like sack, at the base. The column is very fragile, pitted, and cylindrical. It has a pointed tip, and is usually curved. The tip is covered in the spore bearing matter (gleba) which is a dark olive-brown paste, and has a smell which is irresistible to insects. (These insects help distribute the spores on their bodies, and in their stomachs.) Beneath the spore mass the tip is dark orange. Although its smell is not as strong as the related common stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus), it has been described as smelling like cat faeces.
Biology: It appears from summer to late autumn, and The fruit bodies of the fungus can serve as a food source for thief ants and developing blow flies (Phormia regina).
Habitat: It is usually found in small groups; in leaf litter; on wood debris, or wooded roadsides. It may occur in both deciduous, and coniferous woods.
Distribution: Europe, Eastern North America, Iran, Turkey, China.
Wikipedia, Mutinus caninus