Saturday, 24 November 2012

Scarlet Caterpillarclub

Cordyceps militaris from the Calderdale Fungi blog. I found it at Saville Park in a private garden this week and Michael Sykes of Halifax Scientific Society identified it.

          It grows on the body of a dead larva or pupa, the mycelium replacing the insides of the insect.


AndyC said...

Cordyceps militaris is the best-known and most frequently collected bug-killing Cordyceps, but there are dozens of "entomogenous" species in North America. The victim for Cordyceps militaris is a pupa or larva (usually of a butterfly or moth). Its mycelium colonizes the living insect and mummifies it, keeping it alive just long enough to generate the biomass it needs to produce the mushroom--a "spore factory" that allows the Cordyceps to reproduce.

With Cordyceps militaris the bug is buried in the ground or in well decayed wood, which means the mushroom collector usually sees only a little orange club with a finely pimply surface. Thanks the bug collector blogg

AndyC said...

Thanks Mike for sharing that with us very interesting..can we have a link to the mushroom blogg ,Im sure there are many of us who have an interest

Steve Blacksmith said...

The fungus blog is at: set up for me by Bruce, bless him.

It was me who found and posted it, Andy. Mike just knew what it was straight away whereas I was going to have to look it up. Mike said "I've been looking for that for ages".

Thanks for the additional information. I knew it was fascinating when I saw it there in the grass!

AndyC said...

Great find,it just goes to show that there is still much to find in calderdale.

charlie streets said...

Hi Steve, I didn't know there were fungi that used subterranean larvae and pupae.I suppose the pupal case and internal remains are in the close proximity of the fungi - be interesting to excavate one!