Nutrient starvation is a common occurrence for filamentous fungi. To better understand the effects of starvation, we used a parallel plate flow chamber to study individual fungal mycelia when subjected to a step change in glucose concentration. We report the presence of a finite “lag time” in starved mycelia during which they ceased to grow/extend while switching from growth on exogenous carbon to re-growth on endogenous carbon. This lag time precedes other morphological or physiological changes such as change in growth rate (50–70% reduction), vacuolation (up to 16%), and decreased hyphal diameter (almost 50% reduction). Data suggests that during lag time, vacuolar degradation produces sufficient endogenous carbon to support survival and restart hyphal extension. Lag time is inversely related to the size of the mycelium at the time of starvation, which suggests a critical flow of endogenous carbon to the apical tip. We present a mathematical model consistent with our experimental observations that relate lag time, area, and flow of endogenous carbon. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2008;100: 458–465. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.