Octopus stinkhorn

Clathrus archeri
Stinkhorns (Phallaceae)

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Clathrus archeri (synonyms Lysurus archeri, Anthurus archeri, Pseudocolus archeri), commonly known as octopus stinkhorn, or devil's fingers, is a fungus which has a global distribution. The young fungus erupts from a suberumpent egg by forming into four to seven elongated slender arms initially erect and attached at the top. The arms then unfold to reveal a pinkish-red interior covered with a dark-olive spore-containing gleba. In maturity it smells like putrid flesh. Recently, C. archeri var. alba with white tentacles or arms has been reported from the Shola Forests in the Western Ghats, Kerala, India.




  • Arora, D; Burk, WR (1982). "Clathrus archeri, a stinkhorn new to North America". Mycologia. 74 (3): 501–504. doi:10.2307/3792972. JSTOR 3792972.
  • Calonge, Francisco D. (1998) "Gasteromycetes, I. Lycoperdales, Nidulariales, Phallales, Sclerodermatales, Tulostomatale" in Flora Mycologica Iberica, Vol 3, J Cramer, Berlin, Germany. p. 271.
  • Dring, DM (1980). "Contributions towards a rational arrangement of the Clathraceae". Kew Bulletin. 35 (1): 1–96. doi:10.2307/4117008. JSTOR 4117008.
  • Pegler, DN et al. (1995) British Puffballs, Earthstars, and Stinkhorns, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England. p. 255.



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