This is a Netted Stinkhorn, Dictyophora duplicata. Also known as the Skirted Stinkhorn or Veiled Stinkhorn, this mushroom takes its name from that lacy fringe that hangs down from the cap. In this case the fringe is particularly long.
As you can guess from this blog post's title, this mushroom
really smells terrible. When spotted on the jungle pathway between the managers' room and Banda 7, it was detectable
from quite a few meters away. It’s way of propagating is by attracting
insects who are
drawn to the gooey cap which is covered in a sticky, sweet layer that
insects feed on, within which are the mushroom’s spores.
carried on the wind, as with most mushrooms, so it relies entirely on
primarily flies and butterflies to procreate.
Unlike most fungi, which have a root-like
network, stinkhorns begin life as
an egg. The fruiting body begins at"egg" stage, from which the
phallic body emerges over the course of just a few hours. The
growth of a stinkhorn from egg to full length is incredibly fast- less
than a day. It was spotted at 3pm and there was no evidence the next morning at first light, in
our case. For a lifecycle video see this YouTube video: Netted Stinkhorn Mushroom
Some members of this group of mushroom are considered a delicacy; in China it’s
considered an aphrodisiac, eaten at "egg" stage or after maturity once the cap
has been removed. They are even cultivated and sold in shops, fresh or
dry! For us the smell was too off-putting to consider trying to eat it, and don’t
worry, that’s not where any of the mushrooms on the menu are sourced!