Ophiocordyceps sp. on a Beetle Larva
Yet another Ophiocordyceps on a beetle larva! My third find in a couple of weeks, so I'm a happy girl!
Pushing up through leaf litter below large oaks, ashes, and hickory trees in a dense mixed hardwood/coniferous forest in NW Georgia (Gordon County), US. June 12, 2018.
Ophiocordyceps is a genus of ascomycetes that parasitize arthropods.:) This genus is best known for its ability to turn insects into "zombies." I'm not sure the exact mechanism that this species takes, but I know several within this genus manipulate insect behaviors to ensure optimal spore dispersal.
It has been brought to my attention that this is likely a different Ophiocordyceps species altogether! North American species have not been studied extensively, so my specimens need further study (possibly sequencing) to get any further! I am working on contacting some experts on the matter, and I will keep you all apprised.
No species identified
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