Evolutionary Ecology

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 711–722 | Cite as

Contribution of symbiotic mycangial fungi to larval nutrition of a leaf-rolling weevil

  • Chisato Kobayashi
  • Yu Fukasawa
  • Dai Hirose
  • Makoto Kato
Original Paper


Some phytophagous insects have been known to inoculate certain fungi on plant substrates. In many cases of such insect–fungi relationships it has been considered that fungi contribute to insects by decomposing lignin or polysaccharides, and that the insects feed on the decomposition products or fungi themselves. Females of the leaf-rolling weevil in the genus Euops (Attelabidae) store spores of symbiotic fungi in the mycangia and inoculate them on leaf rolls. To determine the effect of mycangial fungi on larval nutrition in E. lespedezae, the nutritional value was compared between leaves with and without mycangial fungi. Two Penicillium species were isolated from the mycangia. These mycangial fungi showed little effect on the decomposition of lignin and polysaccharides, and showed little effect on enhancement of soluble sugars within leaves. Thus, the mutualism between Euops and its mycangial fungi contrasts with the mainly nutritional mutualisms between wood-infesting insects (termites, bark/ambrosia beetles, and wood wasps) and lignin/polysaccharide-decomposing fungi.


Euops lespedezae Insect–fungus symbiosis Larval development Nutritional enhancement Penicillium 



We thank Naoki Takabe and Hisashi Kajimura for providing important information regarding the mycangial fungi of Euops; Seiji Tokumasu for identification of the fungi; and Takuo Hishi for helpful advice on the statistical analyses. This study is supported by JSPS Research Fellowships for Young Scientists.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chisato Kobayashi
    • 1
  • Yu Fukasawa
    • 2
  • Dai Hirose
    • 3
  • Makoto Kato
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Human and Environmental StudiesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Laboratory of Forest Ecology, Graduate School of AgricultureKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  3. 3.Sugadaira Montane Research CenterUniversity of TsukubaSanadaJapan

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