With singular agreement: a taxon comprising slime moulds. With plural agreement: members of this taxon collectively. Compare earlier Myxogastres , "Myxomycetes".
The name Mycetozoa was coined in recognition of the affinities of the slime moulds with protozoa. In de Bary's original use, the Mycetozoa comprised all of the known slime moulds, the Myxomycetes (plasmodial slime moulds) and the Acrasieae (cellular or amoeboid slime moulds). In later use many of the latter group are treated as a separate taxon on the basis of ultrastructural and biochemical differences.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science. From scientific Latin Mycetozoa from myceto- + -zoa, after German Mycetozoen.