Clathrus ruber P. Micheli ex Pers., 1801
Common names: Latticed stinkhorn, Basket stinkhorn, Red cage [En], Clathre rouge, Clathre grillagé, Cœur de sorcière [Fr], Traliestinkzwam [Nl], Rote Gitterling [De], Fungo lanterna [It], Jaula roja [Es]
Kastania, SAMOS ● Greece
Description: The fruit body initially appears like a whitish "egg" attached to the ground at the base by cords called rhizomorphs. The egg has a delicate, leathery outer membrane enclosing the compressed lattice that surrounds a layer of olive-green spore-bearing slime called the gleba, which contains high levels of calcium that help protect the developing fruit body during development. As the egg ruptures and the fruit body expands, the gleba is carried upward on the inner surfaces of the spongy lattice, and the egg membrane remains as a volva around the base of the structure. The fruit body can reach heights of up to 20 cm (7.9 in). The color of the fruit body, which can range from pink to orange to red, results primarily from the carotenoid pigments lycopene and beta-carotene. The gleba has a fetid odor, somewhat like rotting meat, which attracts flies and other insects to help disperse its spores.
Biology : The fungus is saprobic, feeding off decaying woody plant material, and is usually found alone or in groups in leaf litter on garden soil, grassy places, or on woodchip garden mulches.
Habitat: The fungus grows alone or clustered together near woody debris, in lawns, gardens, and cultivated soil.
Distribution: It is considered native to southern and central continental Europe. It has been introduced to other areas, and now has a wide distribution that includes northern Africa, Asia, Australia, and North and South America.
Wikipedia, Clathrus ruber