• Lush vegetation on the top of Spectacle Island's North drumlin dominates the foreground. Boston's skyline can be seen in the distance.  The park's logo with tag line minutes away, worlds apart empashises the stark contrast between the city and islands.

    Boston Harbor Islands

    National Recreation Area Massachusetts

Stalking the Blob: Slime Molds of Boston Harbor Islands

Genevieve Lewis-Gentry
Genevieve Lewis-Gentry
Harvard University
Harvard University Herbaria
22 Divinity Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 495-1057
e-mail author
 
Delivered at 2008 Boston Harbor Islands Science Symposium.

Slime molds (Myxomycota) are eukaryotes in the Amoebozoa that feed on bacteria. They have several different life-form stages including amoeboid,spore-producing fruit bodies, and plasmodia (the inspiration for the 1950’s classic thriller movie “The Blob”). There had been no previous documentation of Myxomycota from the Boston Harbor Islands. A survey was conducted in August 2007 as part of the Planetary Biodiversity Inventory of the Myxomycota in conjunction with Dr. Steve Stephenson from the University of Arkansas. In this talk I will discuss the species of myxomycetes on the Boston Harbor Islands as well as basic aspects of myxomycete biology.

Did You Know?

Vintage Aerial View of Boston Light

Boston Light Station, part of Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, is visited every year by the Flying Santa, a long-time New England tradition started by William Wincapaw in 1929. The Flying Santa delivers food, toys, and other necessities to lighthouses across New England. More...