Sooty Mold on American Beech Tree

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Black spongy mass of a sooty mold (Scorias spongiosa) on a young beech tree (Fagus grandifolia). Sooty molds are saprophytic fungi that get nourishment specifically from the honeydew-like secretions of aphids and other insects which suck sap from their host plants. In this case, the Scorias spongiosa sooty mold   feeds exclusively on the honeydew excrement from Beech Blight Aphids (Grylloprociphilus imbricator), a species of woolly aphids. Due to the colonial nature of the beech aphid  compared to most other aphids, this sooty mold can grow quite large--this specimen is the size of a human fist. Mohican State Forest, Ohio, USA.
Black spongy mass of a sooty mold (Scorias spongiosa) on a young beech tree (Fagus grandifolia). Sooty molds are saprophytic fungi that get nourishment specifically from the honeydew-like secretions of aphids and other insects which suck sap from their host plants. In this case, the Scorias spongiosa sooty mold feeds exclusively on the honeydew excrement from Beech Blight Aphids (Grylloprociphilus imbricator), a species of woolly aphids. Due to the colonial nature of the beech aphid...
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