There are many types of associations between insects and fungi, ranging from inquilinism to obligate parasitism. Some insects, especially representatives of the lower Diptera such as the fungus gnats (Sciaridae, My-cetophilidae), feed on mushrooms and plant tissue invaded by fungi. Many species of bark beetles (Scolytidae) and other wood-boring insects (like members of the Siricidae) carry fungal bodies or spores in specialized pouches (mycetangia, etc.). These fungi are usually symbionts and provide food or a suitable habitat for growth and development of their insect carrier. Some fungi, such as yeasts or highly specialized forms such as the Trichomycetes, occupy certain niches in the alimentary tract of insects. Still others, such as the unique Laboulbeniales, are adapted for survival on the insect’s cuticle. Although they are true parasites, they rarely cause disease. True pathogenic fungi, which can eventually destroy the insect host, attack a variety of terrestrial and aquatic insects. Although fungi were responsible for some of the earliest known insect diseases, basic studies on the majority of the entomogenous forms are still incomplete.
KeywordsBark Beetle Beauveria Bassiana Saprophytic Fungus Color Plate Hyphal Body
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