, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 7-15

Spore dispersal of Dictyophora fungi (Phallaceae) by flies

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The composition and food habits of insects visiting fungi of two Dictyophora species, D. indusiata(Vent. & Pers.) and D. duplicata Fisch, were examined in Furano, northern Japan, and in Kyoto, central Japan. As well as field work being carried out, the quantity and the viability of spores in the recta of drosophilid and muscid flies were examined in vitro. Although the composition of insects varied locally and temporally, most of the insects were observed to feed on gleba, which contains spores. Among the insect assemblies, a few insects were specialized for mycophagy but most were secondarily or not at all mycophagous. Although Dictyophora-feeders rarely attached the spores on their body surfaces, they contained a quantity of spores in their gut, which was estimated to be about 35 000–240 000 for drosophilids and about 1.7 million for muscids. Those spores showed high germination rates, which were not significantly different from the intact spores. Thus, spores of Dictyophora are dispersed as excrement through the gut of Dictyophora-feeding insects but not as adherers on the insect body.