Myxomycete Minimize

September 2005. From Saipan, CNMI, a fungus growing on a yam. What is it?

It was identifed as a myxomycete, a slime mould. With these fungi a mass of cytoplasm (plasmodium) grows out from the soil and over nearby sticks, rocks, plants, etc., usually on moist nights, and converts to masses of spores as the sun comes up. They can be quite spectacular with bright colours. If it is a myxomycete, they are quite harmeless to the plant and can be brushed off if necessary once the conversion to spores is complete.