Bioluminescence in Mushrooms.. Walking Through Pandora

11 May 2012

I’m on a quest. A quest to find a large cluster of glow-in-the-dark mushrooms, also known as bioluminescent mushrooms/fungi. These fascinating little smurfy sprouts tend to appear during the rainy season, and wilts when the blazing sun comes out. Many also do not notice them as few would go exploring our nature reserves in pitch darkness. My quest was partly fulfilled today, with the discovery of a mini cluster of glowing mushrooms. Still looking forward to a really huge cluster, where it would feel like walking through Pandora in the night.

Bioluminescent Fungi (Mycena illuminans?) - DSC_7969#1 First pair of mushrooms, small, not too bright, but nice!

Bioluminescent Fungi (Mycena illuminans?) - DSC_7983#2 View from the top, like an umbrella

Bioluminescent Fungi (Mycena illuminans?) - DSC_7986#3 The bottom reveals the gills where spores would be dispersed from

Bioluminescent Fungi (Mycena illuminans?) - DSC_7987#4 And then we found some more, not a cluster but 4 in a row wasn’t too bad

Bioluminescent Fungi (Mycena illuminans?) - DSC_7990#5 A larger and brighter pair, allowed us to see more details

Bioluminescent Fungi (Mycena illuminans?) - DSC_7991#6 The glow illuminates the surrounding slightly as well

Bioluminescent Fungi (Mycena illuminans?) - DSC_7997#7 We started to see nicer clusters

Bioluminescent Fungi (Mycena illuminans?) - DSC_8000#8 Can’t get enough of them!!

Bioluminescent Fungi (Mycena illuminans?) - DSC_8002#9 Able to see tiny dew drops on the stem

Bioluminescent Fungi (Mycena illuminans?) - DSC_8003#10 Shot from a slightly lower angle. The “upskirt”

Bioluminescent Fungi (Mycena illuminans?) - DSC_8032#11 Found 6 together! Not very close together, but still a nice pattern

Bioluminescent Fungi (Mycena illuminans?) - DSC_8033#12 Aligning all 6 together in the same focal plane was a great challenge

Bioluminescent Fungi (Mycena illuminans?) - DSC_8039#13 View from the top, this was stacked

Bioluminescent Fungi (Mycena illuminans?) - DSC_8043#14 And the upskirt!

Bioluminescent Fungi (Mycena illuminans?) - DSC_8043#15 Another view of the upskirt

Not that many finds, but still a significant milestone! 🙂 Now on to the other finds of the night…

Net-Casting Spider (Deinopis sp.) - DSC_7921#16 A Net-Casting Spider (Deinopis sp.)

Bee (Apis sp?) - DSC_7927#17 Sleeping bee/wasp?

Bee (Apis sp?) - DSC_7939#18 Ok it wasn’t sleeping, kept moving around!

Copper-cheeked Frog (Hydrophylax raniceps) - DSC_7946#19 An unfriendly copper-cheeked frog

Copper-cheeked Frog (Hydrophylax raniceps) - DSC_7950#20 Getting a little friendlier.. come’on face me!!!

Copper-cheeked Frog (Hydrophylax raniceps) - DSC_7952#21 Best I could do to get it to turn towards me

Gecko (Gekkota) - DSC_7957#22 Resident gecko, always on the same tree but very skittish

Cricket? Katydid? - DSC_7962#23 Melvyn found this odd-looking katydid

Cricket? Katydid? - DSC_7965#24 Record shot from the top, has little bits of green and brown on it’s body

Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae) - DSC_8005#25 Lichen Huntsman, oddly not on a tree bark but prancing on a leaf

Lace Bugs (Ypsotingis sp.) - DSC_8008#26 A pair of mating Ypsotingis. We called it NN Bug….

Lace Bugs (Ypsotingis sp.) - DSC_8014#27 Final moments before they separated and ended their tryst

Frog (Anura) - DSC_8020#28 Cute little frog, looked as if it’s hind legs were point the “middle finger”

Frog (Anura) - DSC_8025#29 Slightly higher angle to help with ID

The complete album can be viewed here.




Hi my name is Nicky Bay. I am a macro photographer, instructor and book author, travelling the world to document the vast micro biodiversity that nature has to offer. Follow my updates and discover with me the incredible beauty and science behind our planet's micro creatures!

Copyright Notice

All images © 2008-2024 Nicky Bay unless stated otherwise. Reproduction of any content without permission is prohibited. Please read the Image Use Policy and contact [email protected] for licensing requests.

Mailing List

Like the content here? Get notified for new posts, stories, workshops and book launches! Your email will never be shared with others.

Like the content here? Get notified for new posts, stories, workshops and book launches! Your email will never be shared with others.