Q: Why is it called the “artillery” fungus? Is it also called the “shotgun fungus”?
A: The term artillery refers to the fact that the artillery fungus actively (uses energy) shoots its spore masses, sort of like a cannon or howitzer (an artillery piece). We will call these “spores,” although they are actually spore masses, or gleba. The spores are usually shot only a short distance, several feet, but the wind can carry them for longer distances, even up to the second story of a house.
The term “shotgun fungus” usually refers to Pilobolus, a different kind of fungus that is common on fresh horse dung.