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Paecilomyces tenuipes

Posted by
Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 21 September 2010 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

Paecilomyces tenuipes (Gele rupsenzwam (BE) / (Despite some internet-search I could not find the common names in other languages - If anyone can help with them, please let me know) ) is an entomogenous fungus. An entomopathogenic fungus is a fungus that can act as a parasite of insects and kills or seriously disables them. In this case the fungus parasites probably a moth pupa buried under the sand. These fungi usually attach to the external body surface of insects in the form of microscopic spores (usually asexual, mitosporic spores also called conidia). Under permissive conditions of temperature and (usually high) moisture, these spores germinate, grow as hyphae and colonize the insect's cuticle; eventually they bore through it and reach the insects' body cavity (hemocoel). Then, the fungal cells proliferate in the host body cavity, usually as walled hyphae or in the form of wall-less protoplasts (depending on the fungus involved). After some time the insect is usually killed (sometimes by fungal toxins) and new propagules (spores) are formed in/on the insect if environmental conditions are again permissive; usually high humidity is required for sporulation.

Image: Schilde (BE) - 17/09/2010

Canon EOS 400D 1/640 second F/5.6 ISO 200 150 mm

© Johan Dierckx

The photos on this site are copyrighted, which prohibits anyone to use them to sell, give away, use in email or newsgroups, use in a homepage or otherwise showing to the public without my explicit, prior, written permission. Please feel free to use the "contact"-button below to contact me with any questions.

All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.

(To see species in the same taxonomic rank (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus), please use the tags provided with the image. The last tag is the Iso-code for the country where the image was taken. Image-date in DD/MM/YYYY format.)

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Christine from Duns, United Kingdom

Superb shot but a nasty fungus

21 Sep 2010 7:12am

@Christine: Nature is not always "nice" ... but it is just the way it works. Have a great day, Christine and thanks again for your comments.

Julie from Le Cannet des Maures, France

très belle lumière

21 Sep 2010 8:07am

@Julie: Thank you very much, Julie. Again an image taken in late afternoon - my favorite time.

marc battault from clermont ferrand, France

tres jolie ce detail ,on dirait une petite main !!
amitiés !

21 Sep 2010 2:48pm

@marc battault: It is a realy weard species with different forms and structures. Greetz !

Monique from Koh Samui, Thailand

Dat is dus echt een parasiet! Vind 't altijd weer interessant om te lezen hoe parasieten gebruik maken van hun 'gastheer' . Dit moet wel een heel kleintje zijn als ik de kluitjes aarde zo bekijk. De zwam komt goed tot haar recht in de donkere omgeving, mooi belicht

21 Sep 2010 4:08pm

@Monique: Parasitisme is een wreed maar wonderlijk fenomeen in de natuur. Ik blijf me erover verbazen hoe alle dingen steeds weer blijken samen te hangen en alles wel zijn reden heeft. Het is inderdaad een behoorlijk klein paddenstoeltje - met macro heb je soms moeilijk goede referentiepunten om de maatstaven in te schatten, maar hier heb je de zandkorreltjes mooi gebruikt :-) Ik vond vooral het gele "stengeltje" van deze soort heel bijzonder. Het witte is gewoon een ongelooflijke massa sporen. Bij het minste zuchtje wind komen die in een grote stofwolk vrij. Dat heb ik echter niet op foto kunnen vastleggen. (zou trouwens beter zijn op film :-) ).

Veronique from Sarrouilles, France

still in the deep of the ocean !! extraordinary

21 Sep 2010 4:34pm

@Veronique: Never seen this kind of structures in a fungus before?

carla from Netherlands

Prachtig, met name de belichting, compilmenten.

21 Sep 2010 5:49pm

@carla: Hartelijk dank, Carla. Het was inderdaad niet echt eenvoudig om nog voldoende structuur in de witte sporenmassa te behouden. De eerste pogingen waren dan ook desastreus, maar dat is nu het voordeel van digitaal werk - je kan dadelijk beoordelen en bijsturen tot het uiteindelijk wel lukt :-) En die zwammetjes gaan niet lopen he :-)

Veronique from Sarrouilles, France

no !

22 Sep 2010 3:38pm

@Veronique: I'm glad I can show you then :-)

Julie Brown from Indianapolis, United States

Such an adaptive biology! It looks like a skeletal hand erupting from the soil.

24 Sep 2010 1:19am

@Julie Brown: Parasitism is always a very interesting research subject. It was the first time I did see this species.

Dutçh from Chicagoland, United States

Interesting how species look similar to each other.. this.. looks like coral to me. :)

24 Sep 2010 3:08am

@Dutçh: There are many coral-like fungi. I just don't know why there is such a similarity but there has to be some reason for that. Maybe I once find the answer (I'll let you know then!). Have a great weekend, Kristen !

daniela scharnowski from Berlin, Germany

where´s the rest of the deer? Fabulous find and beautifully done - as usual.

26 Sep 2010 1:59pm

@daniela scharnowski: eaten by the fungus ... :p I'm totally in the mushrooms these days did you notice ? Thanks for all comments you made, Daniela. Have a calm week !

Canon EOS 400D
1/640 second
ISO 200
150 mm