Harpellales (Legeriomycetaceae, Zygomycota) or 'trichomycetes' are fungi that inhabit the digestive tracts of arthropods such as insects, millipedes, and crustaceans. In the current study we examined changes in 5 morphological characters of Smittium culisetae (Harpellales: Legeriomycetaceae) between the two dipteran (mosquito, black fly) hosts reared under 3 different temperatures (17, 22, 30 °C). Both host and temperature had a pervasive effect on the linear dimension of trichospores, their generative cells and hyphae width. At 30 °C the mean size of all 5 morphological characters were consistently larger in fungus taken from the mosquito host than from the black fly host. At 17 °C and 22 °C, however, there were no consistent patterns. The effect of host was so pronounced that it could be accurately determined which host S. culisetae colonised based on differences in linear morphology. Such changes in fungal morphology between hosts have important ramifications for the morphologically based taxonomy of this group.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Plant Science