Volume 8 - Issue 9 (September/October)

Article Number 1

The zombie ants parasitized by the fungi Ophiocordyceps camponotiatricipis (Hypocreales: Ophiocordycipitaceae): new occurrence and natural history


Sobczak JF, Costa LFA, Carvalho JLVR, Salgado-Neto G, Moura-Sobczak JCMS, Messas YF

Received 23 April 2017
Accepted 19 August 2017
Published Online 10 September 2017
Corresponding Author Jober F. Sobczak – e-mail – jobczak@gmail.com

The entomopathogenic fungus Ophiocordyceps camponoti-atricipis parasitizes the ant species Camponotus (Myrmothrix) atriceps in the Brazilian Central Amazon, and may induce behavioral changes in its hosts. In this study, we extended the distribution range of this interaction for the Atlantic Forest biome. In addition, we investigated the occurrence of parasitized ants fixed upon specific host plants, plant structures and heights above the soil. We found higher frequencies of ants on the introduced plant of commercial value Coffea arabica. The ants adhered to the plants using their mandibles, normally on the abaxial surface and central veins of leaves. The fungus killed its hosts preferentially at a height of 1 m to 2.5 m above the soil, differing from that observed in other studies. 

Keywords behavioral manipulation – Camponotus atriceps – entomopathogenic fungi – Neotropical –rainforest.
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Article Number 2

Diversity and community composition of aquatic ascomycetes varies between freshwater, estuarine and marine habitats in western Scotland


Friggens NL, Taylor JE, Koukol O

Received 02 December 2017
Accepted 07 June 2017
Published Online 10 September 2017
Corresponding Author Joanne E. Taylor – e-mail – jtaylor2@rbge.org.uk

Aquatic ascomycetes occur in freshwater and marine environments where they facilitate nutrient cycling and energy flow through the water column, and are the foundations of aquatic food webs. This study investigates the diversity and abundance of aquatic ascomycetes on submerged wood in freshwater, estuarine and marine habitats in north-west Scotland. The fresh water habitat exhibits lowest temperature and salinity with an increasing gradient through the estuarine and marine habitats. Morphological identification and molecular analysis were used to identify taxa. A detailed description is given for Sporoschisma juvenile and Chalara anamorph of Calycina parilis and their phylogenetic placement is discussed based on their morphological variability and both ITS and LSU rDNA. Diversity of aquatic ascomycete taxa decreased along temperature and salinity gradients, being lowest in the estuarine and marine habitats. The composition of fungal communities varied between the three sampled habitats with some taxa common to all three and others exclusive to one habitat. A wide range of biotic, abiotic and anthropogenic factors affect aquatic fungal diversity. It is therefore important to improve our understanding of these effects on aquatic fungal diversity to successfully conserve aquatic ecosystems in light of changing global environments. 

Keywords Abiotic factors, biodiversity, Chaetosphaeriaceae, lignicolous, Shannon index
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Article Number 3

Functional variability of macrofungal populations in four different forest types of Costa Rica


Rojas C, Valverde R, Morales R

Received 10 June 2017
Accepted 17 August 2017
Published Online 10 September 2017
Corresponding Author Carlos Rojas – e-mail – carlos.rojasalvarado@ucr.ac.cr

A series of functional variables, including biomass and hymenial area, were obtained for more than 4800 individual macrofungal sporocarps and correlated with a set of ecological parameters characterizing soil, climate and forest structure in four different forest types of Costa Rica. The idea behind this project was to document macrofungi over a three-year period with the objective of generating a dataset intended to document sporocarp variability and association with forest characteristics. In the context of climate change, habitat degradation and tropical forest fragmentation, studying fungi from an ecological perspective can provide crucial elements of analysis to weigh their relevance in tropical systems and to understand the potential threats to fungal populations. Our results showed high variability in the functional variables over the period of study, but suggest that such variability is partially induced by macroclimatic events in which forests with a higher percentage of mycorrhizal fungi seemed to be more sensitive. Overall, the ratio of hymenial area/biomass and pileus diameter were found to be significantly correlated with several ecological parameters in the studied forest types. However, the association of the former with ecological reproductive strategies makes such variable a good parameter to use for the monitoring of fungal dynamics in the studied tropical forests. The potential application of the latter in the framework of climate change and forest degradation studies is relevant since fungi are essential organisms in tropical ecosystems. 


Keywords climate change – fungal ecology – monitoring – Neotropics – Tropical Dry Forest –
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Article Number 4

Yeasts and filamentous fungi inhabiting guts of three insect species in Assiut, Egypt


Moubasher AH, Abdel-Sater MA, Zeinab Soliman

Received 24 February 2017
Accepted 15 May 2017
Published Online 10 September 2017
Corresponding Author Abdel-Aal Hassan Moubasher – e-mail – ahamaumc@yahoo.com

This work aimed to evaluate for the first time in Egypt the biodiversity of mycobiota that inhabit the guts of three insect species collected from Assiut Governorate. 50 adult insect samples (28 worker honey bees, 11 black beetles and 11 red palm weevils) were analyzed. 68 species and three varieties were recovered of which 49 species and 2 varieties were filamentous fungi and 19 species + one variety were yeasts. The number of taxa recovered from red-palm weevils and honey bees was almost equal, while lower number was isolated from beetles. However, a higher number of yeast species was obtained from the gut of red-palm weevils than those obtained from honey bees or black beetles. Some filamentous species were recovered from the guts of the three insect species (Aspergillus niger, A. parasiticus, A. terreus, Cladosporium cladosporioides, Penicillium chrysogenum), while others were reported from one or two insect species. However, none of yeast species was regularly recovered from the three insect guts, but two insect species may share the same yeast species in their guts. Other yeast species were restrictedly isolated from guts of one insect species. Some gut samples were fungi-free. To our knowledge, some of the isolated yeast species are being reported here for the first time from insect guts. On the other hand, ITS sequence data from several strains did not match well with those of known described species, and are probably new species. 

Keywords Beetles – honey bees – phenotypic and genotypic characteristics – red-palm weevils
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Article Number 5

The gymnopoid fungi (Basidiomycota, Agaricales) from the Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, West Africa.


Desjardin DE, Perry BA

Received 25 May 2017
Accepted 10 June 2017
Published Online 23 September 2017
Corresponding Author Dennis E. Desjardin– e-mail – ded@sfsu.edu

Thirty-one species of gymnopoid fungi are reported from the African island nation, Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe. Ten represent new species (Arrhenia cystidiata, Callistosporium elegans, Campanella burkei, Gymnopus billbowesii, G. hirtelloides, G. irresolutus, G. mustachius, G. ocellus, G. pleurocystidiatus, G. rodhallii), four are new nomenclatural combinations (G. cervinus, G. hirtellus, G. ugandensis, Tricholomopsis aurea), and all 21 previously described species represent new distribution records. Comprehensive descriptions, line drawings, colour photographs, comparisons with allied taxa, a dichotomous key to aid identification, and a phylogenetic analysis of members of the Omphalotaceae based on ITS rDNA sequence data are provided.

Keywords Gymnopus – Marasmiellus – fungal diversity – mushrooms – Gulf of Guinea
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Mycosphere publishes reviews, research articles, methodology papers, taxonomic works such as monographs, and checklists which are relevant to fungal biology, including lichens. The official journal language is English.

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