Ophiocordyceps sessilis sp. nov., a new species of Ophiocordyceps on Camponotus ants in Japan
Ophiocordyceps sessilis, a new species of Ophiocordycipitaceae, Hypocreales, was found on Camponotus obscuripes ants, where the ants were primarily infected by another close relative, O. pulvinata. Morphological observation clearly indicated that O. sessilis and O. pulvinata are distinct species. Ophiocordyceps sessilis exhibited superficial development of perithecia and ascospore disarticulation into part-spores, not known in O. pulvinata. Nucleotide sequence data suggested that O. sessilis belongs in Ophiocordyceps, Ophiocordycipitaceae. Molecular data also indicated that O. sessilis is a close relative of O. cuboidea, O. prolifica, O. paracuboidea, and O. ryogamiensis, which are all known to produce part-spores. Since O. sessilis is always associated with ants infected by O. pulvinata, O. sessilis may be a hyperparasite of O. pulvinata.