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Photo#236691
Fungus spider

Fungus spider
Brandon, Rankin County, Mississippi, USA
October 25, 2008
Size: 5mm

Images of this individual: tag all
Fungus spider Fungus spider Fungus spider Fungus spider

Jim
this would make an **excellent** (and quite possibly identifiable) addition to the growing collection of entomopathogens over at Mushroom Observer:

http://mushroomobserver.org/species_list/show_species_list/163

I hope you'll consider gracing that list with a contribution of your own.

Moved
Moved from Jumping Spiders.

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."

The original finding came from NC. The only part of it I'm not sure about is a line that says "It is said to be parasitic on some species of Aranea and Phalangium.." After more than 100 years they may have discovered it on other types of spiders.. or it may have added hosts. Or I suppose it's not the right fungus after all.

I
shall call this new salticid species...

Medusa oblangatus J. Barnes, 2008

These are really beautiful photos, Jim. A little creepy even!

Jumper might be a dendryphantine; maybe an Eris or Phidippus. Fungus looks like Gibellula sp.

 
Thanks
Just in time for Halloween. :-)

I don't know enough about Mycology to even begin.

People on http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/index.php thought that it might be a Cordyceps fungus.

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6120

I collected it to watch what happens and it has done very little.

???

 
Same here
I know just enough to stay away from it!

I remember that phylogenetic tree has some horizontal branches in it, so there's a good chance both answers are correct but one is more correct than the other.

I know if I google image search for Cordyceps I get several pages of images that are fundamentally different than yours, and for Gibellula they are mostly similar to yours.

Whatever. I still like the photos. Creepy cool. B-)

 
I sent a couple
of emails off to see if one of the places that deals with Gibellula cultures could ID from the photos. I'll post back if I hear anything...

 
....
This is very cool!

How do they get infected like this?

 
The purple flowery things...
The purple flowery things produce spores that are carried by the air to the next "lucky" host. Everything I've read suggests that each fungus is species specific; so where there is one spider...

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