The fruitbody is a stinkhorn. It consists of several upright arms atop a stem (which may be rudimentary) and the tops of the arms are linked by a cage-like arrangement of branches. The transition from the arms to the cage is fairly abrupt. The colours in the fruitbody range from yellow to orange to reddish and the cage-like part carries the brownish spore slime that attracts the insects that disperse the spores. When immature the fruitbody is wrapped in a whitish membrane and a remnant remains as a cup-like surround to the base. The fruitbody may be up to to 8 centimetes tall.
The fruitbodies grow on the ground in a variety of habitats.
Colus pusillus is very similar. It has a a larger and more open net, without such an abrupt transition from arms to cage. However, given the variation in both species the two may sometimes be confused. There is more information here:
Some (e.g., the reference given below) have questioned the reports of Colus hirudinosus from Australasia.
Dring, D. M. (1980). Contributions toward a rational arrangement of the Clathraceae. Kew Bulletin, 35, 1-96.
Colus hirudinosus is listed in the following regions:
Canberra & Southern Tablelands | Albury, Wodonga | South Coast | Central West
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MapsMolonglo River Reserve
PlacesMolonglo Valley, ACT