Fungi attacking springtails (Sminthuridae, Collembola) with a description of Pandora batallata, sp. nov. (Entomophthoraceae)
Siegfried Keller, Thorben Hülsewig & Annette Bruun Jensen
Sydowia 75: 37-45
Published online on October 5th, 2022
Fungi attacking springtails, probably Dicyrtomina sp. (Collembola, Sminthuridae), were collected in north-western Germany. Cadavers were fixed with rhizoids onto moist pieces of dead wood lying on the soil. Fifteen specimens were carefully dissected and microscopically and genetically examined. The core data of Pandora batallata are as follows: The hyphal bodies measured 61.7–65.0 × 18.5 µm and contained on average 10-11 nuclei. The branched conidiophores produced mononucleate primary conidia with an average size of 20.8–21.7 × 8.9–9.6 µm. The spiny brown, usually spherical zygospores measured on average 39.6 µm excluding the spines. The long and strong cystidia had an enlarged rounded ending, which is represented by the epithet. Pandora batallata sp. nov. differs from related species by host, morphology (long cystidia with the spoon-like ending) and sequence differences in the LSU rDNA. Two other fungi were also found. A single dead springtail was completely filled with spherical fungal structures (diameter 9–11 µm) and a single adhering hypha. Two other dead springtails were filled with spherical structures resembling entomophthoralean resting spores, although their diameter was only 10–12 µm. Both of these fungi were not further examined but they are also considered as pathogenic to springtails.
Keywords: Insect pathogenic fungi, morphology, taxonomy, new species, LSU rDNA
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