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DRAFT: Arthropod Pathogenic Fungi

This article is an effort to bring together all of BugGuide's images of bugs that have been attacked by fungi. Clicking a thumbnail will take you to the full-sized image, which may be linked to additional images of the same individual. If you come across images that are not shown here--particularly of different fungi or different victims--please add links to them in the comments below.

Check out this video to learn a bit about Cordyceps, a mostly tropical genus of fungus that can be found in the southeastern US. (In the Amazon, there are treehoppers in the genus Bocydium that appear to mimic these fungi. Some examples are shown here.) There is more information about Cordyceps and related fungi here. There are many other types of arthropod pathogenic fungi. If you come across good information about them, please post links etc. below and I will incorporate them here.

Life cycle information, along with many references, can be found in:
Roy, H. E., D.C. Steinkraus, J. Eilenberg, A.E. Hajek, and J.K. Pell. 2006. Bizarre interactions and endgames: entomopathogenic fungi and their arthropod hosts. Annual Review of Entomology 51:331-57.

Most, if not all, of these spiders are afflicted with species of Gibellula (a.k.a. Torrubiella). Kathie Hodge's article here shows examples of Gibellula pulchra and Nomuraea atypicola.

Cellar spiders with Torrubiella pulvinata

Pandora phalangicida is a harvestman-specific fungus. Also see Kathie Hodge's photo here.

Grasshoppers and Crickets
Some information about Entomophaga grylli here



True Bugs

Leafhoppers, Planthoppers and Cicadas





Goldenrod Soldier Beetles infected with Eryniopsis lampyridarum

Ladybugs with Laboulbeniales fungi (see more here)

Ants and Wasps

Caddisflies infected with Erynia rhizospora

These two apparently have some other kind of fungus:


Also see the bottom of this page.
Caterpillars -- some of these may be killed by a virus or bacterium rather than a fungus:

See Tom Volk's Fungus of the Month page for Entomophthora muscae.

This still-living calliphorid appears to be in the process of succumbing to a fungus:

Snipe flies with Furia ithacensis:

Cordyceps variabilis on Xylophagidae larva:

Some infected fly larvae found in leaf litter:

These millipedes are victims of Arthrophaga myriapodina, described in this paper.

Miscellaneous Arthropods With Afflictions That May Or May Not Be Fungus-related

Images Submitted To This Page That Have Been Determined To Depict Victims Of Something Other Than A Fungus

Oh yeah...
I forgot to add that one, thanks for the reminder.

Crane Fly


Might this count?
Not positively identified as fungus, but still a possibility

Another spider


Harvestmen with possible fungus
I posted this over the summer. The body of the Harvestmen was covered with what looked like blobs of slime.

Just posted this photo of a caterpillar I came across this summer --


Another Fly

So gross, yet so interesting!

Vegetable Wasps and Plant Worms, 1892
I just bought an original copy of this book by M.C. Cooke. It is entirely about entomogenous fungi. Of course I skipped right to page 333 and read the spider section. Here is a small excerpt regarding the description of Isaria aranearum given by Schweinitz...
"It forms an effused yellow crust, from which arise the unbranched clubs in divergent tufts, the basal portion of the clubs being of a bright lemon yellow, and the upper part paler, and powdery with somewhat a flesh-coloured tint. ... The color of this species is significant, in a genus where so many are white, that there should be no difficulty in recognizing it should it be found again."

Does that sound like the fungus growing on the jumping spider above?

It does sound like a good match...
and apparently that's still the valid name for the species, which is pretty amazing. According to Wikipedia, Isaria is in the same family as Gibellula, Jay's suggested ID for the fungus. ZipCodeZoo's Gibellula page is dead, which may mean it's no longer a valid name (in the eyes of whoever maintains that site, which I found to be in agreement with mycologists I corresponded with when researching entomopathogenic fungi).

I have some newly posted additions

I have many more that I've collected but not photographed yet.

Another spider

A most excellent spider addition...


I have to agree with John & Jane: this looks like a grasshopper who's had a very bad day.

I disagree...
See the comment I just added.

I thought--like J&J--that I saw an orthopteran femur in there. But I've got precious little experience (okay, none) with moose/deer fur, so I'll go with your interpretation. :)

Looks like fungus likes flies!
I have some to contribute from the Dolly Sods Wilderness in WV:

Another one??
I'm wondering what Charley and others think of this possibly fungus-attacked fly?

Looks like it
I guess I'll add the leafhopper one below to the "maybe, maybe not" category.

I think this may qualify…

It doesn't look as though this leafhopper has been added yet...

Another fly

a teneb victim

Another H. axyridis...

Another ant victim -
I guess, here:

Another fly
It is bursting

Another one

Another Harmonia axyridis.

And another Harmonia axyridis
I only posted this for the fungus data point - Chesterfield County, VA in early August. It was hot and very humid, and I've been wondering if the fungus is more common in that sort of climate. I haven't seen it in my cooler, drier region of the Northeast.

Laboulbeniales in New England
I saw this fungus for the first time within the past few weeks. Can't remember where I was exactly, but it must have been either Massachusetts or Vermont.

Worth mentioning
The fungus Entomophaga grylli attacks grasshoppers and is used as a biocontrol. Cornell University.

What an incredible page of an
What an incredible page of an almost alien invassive organism. I study fungi and molds but rarely ever come across the results among the insect population. What an amazing ensemble.

Gypsy Moth killed by Entomophaga
It's introduced, but it is a fungus. Anyway, a possibility for your consideration.

EDIT: Or not... See Charley's comment under the photo.

Lacewing larva

Fungus-ridden Syrphid

Some new contributions
I found this spider and ant last week in the Honey Island Swamp, near Slidell, LA.

Not the victim of a fungus

other individuals

I'm not sure what to make of the caterpillar, so I put it in the "Miscellaneous Arthropods With Afflictions That May Or May Not Be Fungus-related" section at the end.

I wasn't too sure what to make of this one either
but forgot to comment when I "thumbed" it.

It certainly isn't a normal "blump".

One more...
Very similar to Lynn Bergen's here.


Another one

Fungus beetle

Check this one

I guess I'll add a section for things that may or may not be fungus.

to me like nothing more than excrement. These spiders simply tilt their abdomens back and go, and this one seems to have had some problems...

Another one.
I'm still not sure of the insect that is in this photo, but I'll take a closer look at it and let you know.

My best guess
Is a caterpillar, or possibly a sawfly. No wings, very stumpy legs. Unfortunately, not a lot of this little guy is visible, and it has become very brittle.

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