Created May 14, 2005; Revised 24 July, 2007; September 9, 2007; April 6, 2013; May 16, 2013; and September 7, 2016.
Copyright 1998-2016 by John W. Allen.

The Shit, The Flies, The Spores, The Shrooms and the Ants


The Fabulous Rice Paddies of Ban Hua Thanon, Koh Samui. Photo: Courtesy of Oliver of Samui Beach Resort, Lamai.

The Shit, The Flies, The Spores, The Shrooms and The Ants.

Sounds like a new movie.
Okay, now i should warn the readers that this is not a tale for the squeamish.
So sit back, Smoke a doobie and listen to this tale of the Shroom.

Well I must admit this took me a long time to figure out how to best present this sequence of events so I must let you know ahead of time that some of the shrooms images with the worms are from different days and different mushroom caps, which after making a print, I had laid them aside to dry and the humidity was so horrible that it caused the worms to hatch, so i put together this event to show you some of what occurs in the lifecycle of a mushroom.

In Thailand, there are 65,000,000 water buffalo (kwai). Approximately 10,000,000 them are pink.

Above us we see two such Pink Buffalo and one gray.

Here are two Bos indicus Cattle, known as Brahman.

About 6,000,000 cows (wua), mostly of the genus Bos composed of Brahman Bulls and dairy cattle (Bos Guarus, Bos sundaicus, and Bos indicus and other four-legged ruminants inhabit the region, all producing manure that brings about the fruitings of several common neurotropic species.

The kwai and wua are the progenitors of several species of magic psilocybian mushrooms known to occur in the manure of these four-legged ruminants or in the manured ground of same. Among the mushrooms in question are Copelandia cyanescens (covering at least 5 other binomials, and Psilocybe cubensis). This study focuses on the evolutionary metamorphosis of Psilocybe cubensis from shit to flies to fly eggs to spores to shrooms to birth bred fruit fly larvae up the insides of the stipe and then they eat the meat of the cap and so on and so forth until the large meaty tissue is a gooey glob of black inky slime. Here below are two images of the mushroom in question.

All right, now I would like to explain how these mushrooms appear from out of nowhere.
Some Mazatecs refer to the mushrooms by saying:
"that the little mushroom comes of itself, no one knows whence, like the wind that comes, we know not when or why."

So, this is what happens. A mushroom, as in the images above, pops up in the manure of most four-legged ruminants, preferably the manure of buffalo (Bubalus), cattle-cows (Bos) and gaur; sometimes even fruiting in the manure heaps of small Thai horses. Finally, when the mushroom reaches maturity, the cap opens and a veil remnant, as seen in the above photo image, drops, and then so do the spores.

So, immediately when the veil drops and the cap opens wide, then the spores began to flow into the air and surrounding environment as millions of spores disburse through the air and many drop directly below the shroom and also on to the grassy ground habitat. That is the beginning of the lifecycle of the mushroom.

Spores are disbursed in many different ways. Falling directly below the caps of the mushrooms and landing on the blades of surrounding wild grasses and other foliage in the region. Another method is from cows eating the mushrooms and the spores become disbursed inside one or more of the cows four stomachs. Sometimes the cattle and buffalo shit directly on a place where the spores have been deposited on leaves or the ground. Within 6-8 weeks or so after the manure has decomposed, new mushrooms began to appear. Below I present an image of the lifecycle of Psilocybe cubensis and this spore disbursal evolutionary process is commonly found in most of the known species of the Agaricales.

Now this is where my tale of the shrooms must began.

On a hot and humid morning in 1987, while vacationing on Koh Samui, an Island in the Gulf of Thailand, I awoke to the sound of a song being sung by a bird, somewhere singing outside my window, telling me to arise and greet the day with a most shroomy smile.

My sweet innocent birdie outside my window singing to me softly with a song.

So after getting up and taking a quick shower, I decided to see if the mushrooms I had picked the previous day had dried overnight on my nightstand in my bungalow room.

So I was very startled when I first noticed that the caps had dozens of tiny holes drilled in them. Drilled by a small platoon of mini carpenter ants. Something I had never encountered before when drying mushrooms for future use.

I also had other critter problems in Thailand while trying to preserve my specimens for future studies. On the first night on Koh Samui, I also had a few giant cockroaches (palmettos) getting into my collections of drying fungi. That's those huge big water bug kind of cockroachs who decided to chew out gaping chunks from the fresh shrooms with their gnarly skeletal cockroach teeth. God were they stoned. So by the 2nd night of trying to properly dry even more cubes, I decided to put some sheets of a local Thai newspaper on top of my mosquito net because back then most bungalows at the resorts had open aired windows and no screens, so mosquito nets were necessary. And seemed like a good place to try to dry my mushrooms without the interference of little critters invading their space and eating them.

Well, as time passed me by, I awoke in the middle of the night upon hearing this strange gnarly gnawing sound emanating from above me on the top of the newspaper tiered by rows of drying mushroom caps. So I immediately arose, got up, and flipped on the light, a light run by a weak generator, so that it kind of flickered on and off giving the room an eerie glow of solace.

So there, at the edge of the mosquito net, was a large friggin rat. A rat who was hanging over the edge of the mosquito net by grasping the netted fibers with his clenched paws holding on for his dear meeger life; obviously stoned out of his gourd. I could see that the rat had a slight problem in judging the distance from atop the mosquito net to the floor. He appeared to be judging such distance wondering by the way he looked down to see if he could leap that far from the edge of the overhead mosquito net to the far away floor. Seemed like he was suddenly having a very bad trip and he appeared to me as if he wanted to get away from the big human monster who was looking up at him. Actually I was looking deep into his frightened twitching darkened eyes. It almost looked as if he was saying "what the Fuck is going on here?" Anyway that's another story for another day.

So I wamt to mention that this was my third day in a row of trying to properly dry the mushrooms I had collected and attempted to properly dry and preserve them for future studies by others.

Now on this particular morning, while checking my drying mushroom caps used to making spore prints on a table in my room, I noticed a hundred or more ants running around on the table in circles around the shrooms. I also noticed that they had a straight line climbing up the leg of the table but there was no line of ants climbing back down. Then I scattered them off the table and looked closely at the mushrooms. Then I noticed the dozens of little drilled holes in the shrooms where the ants were eating and soon tripping out on the mushrooms. That was my first lesson in drying Psilocybe cubensis collected from manure. Although I knew that the cows and water buffalos commonly often consume both cubes and copes in their grazing areas of the shaded areas in the fields along with other shrooms, they may or may not be aware that when they chew on the grass and bite a mouthful of fresh shrooms growing in a large chunk of grass that they will most assuredly experience a slight alteration of their consciousness while under the influence of the shrooms they consume. No wonder they are always laying down in the grassy fields.

So here, taken from a slide is a picture of some of those caps which the ants had drilled holes in while feasting on the magic of the shrooms. Yet, while I have a few thousand slides, this image was all I could come up with in an hour of looking.

Some ant infested drilled holes into over night drying attempt. Circa 1986 at Munchies Resort in Chewang, Koh Samui.

I had better images but we will start with this one to show why I created this post which sounds like a title of a movie. Movies such as, "The Thief, The Cook, The Dumb-Waiter and the Stocking Cap" or whatever; "Sex, Lies, and Video Tapes," etc., anyway, I wish i had taken a cam recorder for this one.

Now if you look carefully at the enlargement you can see the little tiny holes drilled by the ever-clever hungry ants always seeking entheogenic shrooms and of course, these shrooms are the kind of shrooms that these Island Carpenter ants of Koh Samui love to nibble on.

Okay, now to begin anew:
Spore dispersal is a mighty thing like a giant orgasm in the air of dried spores blowing in the wind as if Dylan himself saw and knew what I was thinking of when I said this today years ago when he saw it when he wrote his song. But the majority of shrooms which grow from dung actually grow from spores deposited on blades of grass or from being inside the cows stomach, from either eating the grasses where spores have been deposited on or from eating shrooms which already have the spores in them. And from the cow shit falling on blades of grass or dead shrooms here and there and wherever the many spores are deposited. More likely that way then 'blowing in the wind'.

Since I had trouble locating a picture of a blade of grass with cubie purple-chocolate or chocolate to purple-brown spore deposits on the prints I decided here to illustrate this point with a blade of leaf with some black spores from an unidentified species of Copelandia cyanescens or related species that I picked somewhere on Koh Samui but cannot recall where.

Here is that blade of grass with black spore deposits from freshly harvested specimens of Copelandia cyanescens after I picked the mushrooms for research. Now there they will remain until some Cattle or water buffalo will come along and either shit on it or eat the grass with the spores that are deposited on the blades of grass.

Here is a large 4-inch capped specimen of Psilocybe cubensis with spore deposits all over the top of the cap. You can observe the area where I removed the blade of grass from the top of the mushroom to photograph the color of the spore deposit on the caps topside to show how a blade of glass above the shroom can also have spore deposits on the cap since I removed the blades of sporey grass blade from where it laid on the cap of the shroom. You may view this better to understand this process if you enlarge the image.

Now the next thing you will learn is about how the mighty buffalo (kwai) comes along or the lowly cow (wua) happens by and deposits some of that fodder he was chewing on the day before onto the spores deposited on those mighty blades of grass, and after he drops that fresh turd of dung, the fly soon comes along and lays their eggs in the fresh manure so their little unborn larvae can feast in a manner befitting their station in life and their perspective position and stature in their environmental society of the dung of four-legged ruminants.

Now let me tell you that these flies were many on the pie, that is, until I lay down next to their breeding factory and watched while they scattered off in different directions away from me. Eventually they all began to return after i lay still for a while next to their heaven. They were actually wall to wall like a carpet in ones living room, all of them in harmony laying their eggs together as if a flock of church members were singing a hymn on a Sunday morning in the pews of a local church.

Aha, I thought, not all of them were afraid of me and thus many stayed as these next two images show the flies depositing their eggs into the heaps of dung by where I laid. Of course, the image only shows about half the amount of flies who were laying their eggs before I came upon their breeding ground and disrupted their orgasmic egg-laying nest.
This next image is from 2006 in August and shows baby flies flocking onto the manure heap.

Nothing more exciting then lying down with one's face directly staring into a large buffalo turd. The only problem doing that occurs when the fire ants and the Carpenter ants began to eat your neck and ear and legs, and then maybe like in Cambodia, I would be attacked by a giant spider crawling up my neck. That actually happened to me in West Seattle one year picking Psilocybe cyanescens under Rhododendrons. I crawled under the plants to get the shrooms and put my face directly onto a spider web with one of those giant kind of Banana Spiders. I smashed him to shit and smeared him across my cheek screaming until the house owner came out to see what the noise was all about. It was creepy as hell. But then again, that also is another tale to be told at another time and place other than here.

It was much more prettier when they were wall to wall on the dung heap. Maybe I should have laid their for a while and then all the flies would have returned to Manure Hill in time for me to take their picture and record it into the history books on the evolutionary process of fungi development that I was partaking in.

So eventually, the mycelia grows up under the manure and to show what i mean here are 3 cow-pies I found on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii. When I overturned them, I noticed matted areas of mycelia along the outer edges of the somewhat mostly dried decomposed manure and there were several baby Copelandia cyanescens mushroom pinners fruiting under the manure and reaching over to pop out from the outer edge of the manure. It seems that the worms love to come up the stems of the mushrooms so once they are picked the worms really start to eat the caps as the biological death of the shroom occurs and deterioration sets in.

Here are three images to show you what happened after dung fell on the spored-blades of grass beneath where shrooms had previously grown and died as shown above. After several weeks and up to six weeks later after the manure has decomposed, then and only then, does the mycelium spread under the turd. Sometimes the cow will drop their manure heaps on area where spores were previously deposited and then fresh grass soon appears and grows well in the manured area where the cow dropped fresh manure. In that situation, even then, fruiting bodies will pop up from under the fresh manure and through the manure sprouting upwards towards the sky. Here are three images to show how this occurs.

Okay now we are going to get to the point of this tale where I explain about the evolution of Psilocybe cubensis. As noted above, on many occasions, Psilocybe cubensis and certain species of Panaeolus/Copelandia generally produce mycelia that grows under the manure and when the time is ripe the mushrooms appear and grow, I then transport them back to my place of residence in Southeast Asia and make spore prints. It helps also to dry the mushrooms in the extreme heat but by the next half of a day when the humidity begins to change, it causes the eggs inside of the cubes stems to hatch. Since the stems of many species of fungi are hollow (as is the case with Psilocybe cubensis, it is kind like the light at the end of the tunnel for the fruit fly larvae as they proceed to make their way up the inside of the stem to the soft cap which is beginning to rot. So, as the little worms began to eat the cap, they also soon begin to shit where they are hatching at and the smell brings more of the babies up the stem to join in the festivities going on within the new world worm community.

Here is a damaged (should not be picked rotting specimen of Psilocybe cubensis that is already in the final stages of the beginning of its deterioration.

How to make a spore print in a resort setting. Thus I take a cap and place it on the paper to make a print. There is no air inside except between the gills so the worms began to eat it from the inside out.

Here is one overturned cap of a lighter brown colored one with a few worms worming their way out of the center of the cap where I cut it with a scissor. I could feel the softness in the cap in the morning when I lifted the cap from the paper where I was attempting to get a print and I could feel that the cap was getting soft and somewhat feeling a little soggy inside of it. It was so soft that it presented to me an indication that by inhabiting the shroom that the worms had soon began to perform for me, "The dance of the seven veils." And they began to worm their way to ecstasy via the ananda of the shrooms, as shown in this next image, the first of four such caps.

Okay I should show you the print and the difference between two caps beginning to rot inside due to the worms eating and shiting and eating and shiting and that is all they are doing and all of the time they are doing this they are getting stoned out of their little tiny gourded ant minds.

The mushroom on the left side of the paper and the right side are beginning to rot inside from lack of air and the growth of the ever fattening fried worms. The shroom in the middle is healthy and wealthy and fat and has had a good life so far no worms have invaded its space. It is busty and has substance while the ones on the left and right are beginning to wither from being eaten from the inside out into the fresh smelly manured air space they were inhabiting.

Now here are two more caps that are beginning to rot from the inside and are being eaten by the fly larvae who by now are having one hell of a tripping party going on. Watch them as they dance and sing praises to the shrooms they are eating and to the Ant Gods watching them have a shroomy short life.

And this one is getting eaten on the outer inside of the cap as you can see the cap collapsing from the loss of its outer weight from the hungry little larvae.

Okay! Now you get the idea. So every few days I would have a medium to large size cap began to rot from the inside out with hundreds of larvae being incubated.

Here I present a young fresh cap with worms already developing on the fresh exposed gill plates of the cube's cap.

Because I was interested in what the ants were experiencing and I wanted to record the evolution of this whole process, I placed the cap upside down on a post on the porch of my bungalow in Lamai, Koh Samui. Sometimes I would forget it was there and place my hand on the post for support and get gushed by the gushy shitty shroom and the fleshy larvae my hand had just crushed.

To illustrate a point of incubation, here are a few more overturned caps, from different days and different journeys to Thailand and Cambodia.

On one cap you can see the edges of the spore print where it began to print on the paper but the worms eventually consumed the overturned upside down facing the paper shroom cap before morning came leaving the outer lines of the spore deposits from the gills still visible with lines and the shrinking cap on the paper where I placed it the night before.

Here is another one which rotted on the paper over night.

Now within 2 to 8 or 10 hours after the cap turns to a really slobbery slimy glob of gooey substances and is very mushy, the worms now began to again, "Party on Wayne; Party on Garth Dance of the 7 Veils" and were really into it and fully enjoying life like they never would have enjoyed it anywhere else during their lowly existence.

Here are several wormy mushy upright images of the worms crawling out of the primordial darkness of the past into their ecstatic new short lived future.

And so you get the idea by now.

Now come the ants. These intrepid psychonautic voyagers of the mushrooms soon had a trail in a single wobbly line of large live and deadly stinging Carpenter Ants who smelled the mushy shrooms from the ground four feet below and soon be
gan to climbing up the post. Several times I accidentally placed my hand on the post so I had to start all over on another day. One day I leaned against the railing made of wood and it gave in and collapsed and I fell down to the ground. The resort maids and crew employees would laugh at me, always interested in outdoor in the sun drying shroom methods. They always asked me what they are and why I was collecting them.

Mostly all of the employees of the resorts that I stay in in Thailand and Cambodia are aware that I was connected to Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok and Thai have the greatest respect towards teachers and educators, and I would come and worked daily for several weeks collecting and cataloging mushrooms at least twice a year.

Sometimes drying my shrooms near the pool area attracts druggies heading for the full moon party on Koh Phangan Island. I sometimes am hassled by Australian and German tourist who complain about me not wanting to sell them some mushrooms. And sometimes, I go away for an hour and when I return to the resort, some of the shrooms are missing. One time a $50 dollar bill was left on the chair outside my bungalow where I had shrooms drying in the sun.

While magic shrooms have been illegal in Thailand since 1989, the resort employees know of edible shrooms in their environment and all in the country are aware of the magic shrooms. When I tell them they are 'hed kee quai' they jump back a step and comment to one another, often making jokes about me and the shrooms. The epithet 'Hed kee quai' translates as, "mushroom which appears after buffalo shits." Most make jokes about eating fungi grown in buffalo dung and they laugh amongst themselves and say things to each other like, "Ooh! he like eat 'hed kee quai'."

These next 8 images show the ants struggling to overtake the larvae and kill them slowly by biting them with a stinging poison leading them to a slow and painful stoned death as the ants revel in their quickening excitement of a new intoxication that they were not aware of and they would attempt to cart not only the stoned larvae back to their nest with them but also inform all their other ant friends about this new and exciting meal they just began to worship. Their stinging hot bites eventually lead to the death of the worms, and thusly they are carted back to the nest.

I will say that it was a shame my stupid battery expired on this day of the ants celebration of the shroom guzzling worms as they too soon began to get high from eating the stoned worms. I had no way to photograph the final process of this system of evolution but next year i will make it a point to do just one single large shroom step-by step and then repost the images. Many of my pictures were so blurred trying to focus and place the edge of my mini tri-pod on the post. In one of the images you can see the leg of the tri-pod so it was very hard for me to get a clear shot because I could not hold the camera steady enough to get that masterful photo to which i am use to getting with a regular camera with a roll of film. Something I am better at than with the digital. At least half of my images I photographed (over 3600) were no good for anyone to look at.

So Here are the last of the 8 ant images which were halfway clear enough to view.

Okay now this next image is quite disturbing since there is a whole gang of ants ganging up on this poor little worm. Can you imagine the fear this little shroomed out worm is going through as these horrible creatures with six legs, six legs mind you, and I say this to you only because the poor little shroomed out worms do not even have any legs at all, and can you just imagine the horror occurring in the minds of these poor little worms as the ants grapple to subdue them and do the nasty on their little wormy bodies with their gritty little ant teeth.

Take a look-see and don't say i did not warn you about the terror going on in the eyes and mind of that poor little worm and all of their relatives who are about to become fodder for the "Queen of the Ants" and their ilk.

Now be sure to make all of the children leave the room before viewing this horrible murder of this poor little stoned out worm.

I told you so. They ganged up on him and there were more on their way up the post to come and chew on these shroomy worms so the ants could continue their cycle of the shrooms power.

Reminds me of a song i use to sing when i was a kid to the grasshoppers in my back yard:

"Oowie Gooey was a worm,
A Little Worn was he.
He sat upon the Railroad Track,
The train he did not see,
Oowie Gooey."

I would also like to note that the Carpenter Ants here in these images also were not adapt at going back down the long post to take their captive worms to their home.

And finally I want to present a few images of tomorrows progenitors of the shroom race of Psilocybe cubensis.
The Children of the future:

And there you have it. Another Tale from the Shroom.

I would say personally that this tale is a lot more exciting then Aesop's Fables or biblical parables.

From the twisted and shroomed out mind of mj to all of you. Happy shrooming and do not worry, the worms are only protein. Many of you in the southeast USA and tropical island countries around the world and other continents also eat these worms many times before they notice them in the cubies and other species. I know because I have chewed on a few myself and we are all of the same shroom spirit. Even 'liberty caps' and shrooms from habitats other than manure are also home to these types of larvae eggs that are deposited by flying insects into wild mushrooms or fertilized areas on lawns one way or another.


Bye for now.


From a melting shroom cap of Psilocybe cubensis. Koh Samui. August 2006.

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