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Host-beetles

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Host: Chauliognathus marginatus (F. 1775) and C. pensylvanicus (DeGeer,1774). It’s very easy to distinguish these two species from their protonum.

Pronotum of C

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Uncertain and incorrect records

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In 1911, Popenoe and Smyth reported numerous adult C. pensylvanicus succumbing to a fungus disease in Virginia: at Norfolk in June 1908 and Diamond Springs in September 1909 (Popenoe and Smyth 1911). They found that there was "little doubt" that the disease had been caused by E. lampyridarum. However, no insect pathologists and mycologists have overlooked this note. Fitton referred to Popenoe and Smyth's paper in recording Entomophthora coleopterorum Petch (Fitton 1982) (now placed in the genus Erynia (Humber and Ben-Ze'ev 1981)). In 1980s, New York, some affected beetles are similar to Chauliognathus spp. that succumb to infection by Er. lampyridarum. They were observed with wings spread and attached by their mandibles to shrubs and trees (E. R. Hoebeke, Cornell University). At last they were attributed to infection by Zoophthora radicans (Brefeld). Besides, except C. marginatus and C. pensylvanicus, Fender also found adults of the cantharid Podabrus pruinosus Leconte in Oregon get infected by an unknown entomogenous fungus (Fender 1969). But it’s hard to make sure if it was Er. lampyridarum.

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Brief Summary

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Eryniopsis lampyridarum (Thaxter, 1888), a entomopathogen special parasitic in soldier beetle Chauliognathus marginatus (F. 1775) and C. pensylvanicus (DeGeer,1774). Thaxter (1888) first described this entomopathogen in the genus Empusa called Empusa lampyridarum. First recorded its host is adult of C. Pensylvanicus in Cullowhee, North Carolina. Beetles in the family Cantharidae are referred to as soldier beetles or leatherwings (Chris et al. 2013). Its former classification is in Cantharidae within the family Lampyridae (Leconte 1881, LeConte et al. 1883). So Thaxter named this fungus based on its host. After a few months when first description appeared, Thaxter also found this fungus from same host in Arkansas and Kansas (Humber 1984). In 1973, MacLeod and Miiller-Kogler placed Empusa lampyridarum in the genus Entomophthora, because its close relationship within the Entomophthoraceae (MacLeod and Müller-Kögler 1973). In 1984, Humber designated Entomophthora lampyridarum as the type species of his new genus Eryniopsis, which also included Er. caroliniana (Thaxter) Humber and Er. longispora (Thaxter) Humber, obligate pathogens of nematocerous Diptera (Wheeler 1988). In 2012, Humber reclassified entomophthoroid fungi and created a new phylum Entomophthoromycota for former subphylumEntomophthoromycotina (in zygomycota), but it’s seem like people get used to original taxonomic status. So we keep it in zygomycota here.

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Habitat

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This entomopathogen have species-specificity. Only been found in Cantharidae so far. There are few researches in the ecology of this entomopathogen. From July to October, the fungal host are abundant on Aster pilosus Willd. (Asteraceae), Angelica atropurpurea L. (Apiaceae) and Pastinaca sativa L. (Apiaceae). The fungus apparently affect the behavior of its host. When the infected beetles will die, they will climb and attach by their mandibles to foliage and flower. Besides, at the same time of death, the wings of the beetle will fold back over the abdomen to help the fungus to sporulate. Steinkraus (2004) found about 20% of C. pensylvanicus dead by infected E. lampyridarum in Arkansas during October. He also observed the fungus causes the dead beetles to raise their elytra between 24:00 and 7:00 hours during the night by an unknown mechanism.Some people guess it fold wing will also help to attract the other beetles (Carner 1980), because its behavior looks like mating. This type of spread spores has been reported for some species of Entomophthora (Soper and MacLeod 1963, Carner 1976). It is still not known whether the fungus directly affects cantharid flight muscles or whether mere desiccation of cadavers causes the elytra to spread (Carner 1980). About its host. In Virginia, C. Pennsylvania adults are recorded active in the fall and C. marginatus adults are active in the spring (Chris et al. 2013). But hitherto there not record of this entomopathogen from Virginia, so we can’t assumpt when this entomopathogen infest host and how this entomopathogen overwintering.

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Taxonomy

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synonym:Empusa lampyridarum,Entomophthora lampyridarum

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Morphology

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In 1980, Carner reported epizootics in populations of C. pensylvanicus near Clemson, South Carolina, and described the resting spores in detail. Er. Lampyridarum can be found from the intersegmental membrane regions of the thorax and abdomen in dead soldier beetles. The color of the spores are white with a little orange. He also described the morgphology of spores. Primary conidia and secondary conidia are quite different. Primary conidia are oval and elongate (36.5±1.1*17.1±2.6μm). The apex is slightly sharper than base (Fig. I). Secondary conidia have two types. Type I spores were the same shape as the primary conidia, but smaller (Fig. II). Type I spores were formed on thick conidiophores which developed from the primary conidia. Type II secondary spores were formed on slender perpendicular stalks which emerged from the midpoint of the upper side of the primary conidia (Fig. III). Secondary conidia were vertically on the stalks (Fig. IV). The apex of spores were rounded and the base consisted of a circular collar and socket-like structure which connected with the stalk (Fig. IV, V). The junction of the spore and stalk apparently functions as a weak point which allows the spore to easily separate from the stalk (Fig. VI). In this way, when soldier beetles walk over the leaf surface, the spores have developed and separated. Measurements for secondary spores were 37.7± 1.1 x 15.3 ± 0.2μm.

fig

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Distribution

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Distribution: So far,this entomopathogen only been found in central and eastern North America (Wheeler 1988). Even through its host have been found widely in eastern USA and southern Canada (Georges and Christian 2014).

map in USA

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Eryniopsis lampyridarum

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Eryniopsis lampyridarum is an entomopathogenic fungus and its host is the soldier beetle, either Chauliognathus marginatus or Chauliognathus pensylvanicus.[1] Eryniopsis lampyridarum is mind controlling for the soldier beetle and can manipulate the beetle into doing things that it wouldn't normally do.[2] Once the fungus has established itself inside the beetle, it sends the infected beetle on a mission to find a specific daisy flower Asteraceae.[2] The soldier beetle will clamp its mouthpiece onto the flower as tight as it can, while it awaits its death.[2] The parasitic fungus forces the dead beetle to then spread its wings wide in a dramatic pose; this makes the beetle look bigger as if it is seeking out a mate.[3] The fungus makes sure the dying beetle will attract more beetles so it can spread its spores.[2] The fungus makes sure the beetle spreads its wings only at daybreak. It is also strange that the beetle will be dead for hours and then suddenly it will spread its wings at daylight, just in time to attract potential mates to its dead body.[3] This is because the fungus is in control of the beetle's body functions. Then, when an uninfected beetle comes along to socialize with the dead beetle, the fungus' spores spread to the new beetle.

Not all beetles will end up at a daisy flower. Some will die and fall to the ground. In this case, the parasitic fungus creates many spores that will be resistant to the environment and remain infective for many months.[2] The spores will remain infective in the soil, awaiting the next season where they can infect more soldier beetles.[2]

This parasite was first discovered in North Carolina in the late 1970s, early 1980s.[1] It has been found only in eastern and central North America, although its host, the soldier beetle, is found in southern Canada as well.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c "Eryniopsis lampyridarum - Details - Encyclopedia of Life". Encyclopedia of Life..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:"""""'"'"}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  2. ^ a b c d e f Leung, Tommy (16 June 2017). "Parasite of the Day: Eryniopsis lampyridarum". Archived from the original on 30 Sep 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Fungus creates zombie beetles that crave flowers before death". New Scientist. Archived from the original on 8 August 2017.
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Eryniopsis lampyridarum: Brief Summary

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Eryniopsis lampyridarum is an entomopathogenic fungus and its host is the soldier beetle, either Chauliognathus marginatus or Chauliognathus pensylvanicus. Eryniopsis lampyridarum is mind controlling for the soldier beetle and can manipulate the beetle into doing things that it wouldn't normally do. Once the fungus has established itself inside the beetle, it sends the infected beetle on a mission to find a specific daisy flower Asteraceae. The soldier beetle will clamp its mouthpiece onto the flower as tight as it can, while it awaits its death. The parasitic fungus forces the dead beetle to then spread its wings wide in a dramatic pose; this makes the beetle look bigger as if it is seeking out a mate. The fungus makes sure the dying beetle will attract more beetles so it can spread its spores. The fungus makes sure the beetle spreads its wings only at daybreak. It is also strange that the beetle will be dead for hours and then suddenly it will spread its wings at daylight, just in time to attract potential mates to its dead body. This is because the fungus is in control of the beetle's body functions. Then, when an uninfected beetle comes along to socialize with the dead beetle, the fungus' spores spread to the new beetle.

Not all beetles will end up at a daisy flower. Some will die and fall to the ground. In this case, the parasitic fungus creates many spores that will be resistant to the environment and remain infective for many months. The spores will remain infective in the soil, awaiting the next season where they can infect more soldier beetles.

This parasite was first discovered in North Carolina in the late 1970s, early 1980s. It has been found only in eastern and central North America, although its host, the soldier beetle, is found in southern Canada as well.

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