Below is a detailed a life cycle, but not all slime moulds will follow this exactly.
Once a spore is released from the fruiting body, it's dispersed, either by insects, animals, rain or air movement. On landing in a suitable location with appropriate moisture and temperature, one to four protoplasts
once released from the spore's wall through either a pore or fissure will be either a flagellated
swarm cell if conditions are wet, or a non-flagellated myxamoebae
cell in dryer conditions.
If conditions for growth are not suitable, the cells can become microcysts to survive for long periods of time.
A diploid zygote
is formed when two compatible myxamoebae
or swarm cells fuse. This is known as plasmogamy
After a time of feeding and growing, the zygote
develops into a single-celled multinucleate structure known as a plasmodium
If environmental conditions are not suitable, then the plasmodium
can change into another dormant state known as the sclerotium
When the conditions are right, the mature plasmodium
produces one to many fruiting bodies containing spores,
depending on species.
Assorted plasmodiums: at this point, they are unidentifiable.