Cordyceps militaris

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marksteer
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Cordyceps militaris

Post by marksteer » Mon Oct 19, 2015 12:36 pm

I have seen this frequently on unimproved pasture (prime Waxcap sites) and I wonder if anyone has ideas on host/s for this? I think condition of remains is often difficult for Entomologists to identify! It seems many Cordyceps and allied genera are host specific. The 'medicinal' Orphicordyceps sinensis is reported to be specific to 'Ghost moths' (not sure genus or species) in Tibet and possibly other areas of Asia.
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Chris Johnson
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Re: Cordyceps militaris

Post by Chris Johnson » Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:15 pm

Ghost Moth is Hepialus humuli, which includes a number of subspecies.

The Hepialidae family contains somewhere in the region of 500 species of primitive moths, collectively known as Swift Moths. The larvae reside in the soil and feed on roots (mainly grasses) and often take two years to complete their lifecycle. There are 5 species of Hepialus in Britain, all candidates for Cordyceps. We have three species here in the northwest; the commonest being the Map-winged Swift, but I'm still looking for my first Cordyceps. :(
http://www.outerhebrideslepidoptera.co. ... php?id=185
http://www.outerhebrideslepidoptera.co. ... php?id=147

Cheers, Chris

marksteer
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Re: Cordyceps militaris

Post by marksteer » Mon Oct 19, 2015 4:28 pm

Hi Chris, Many thanks for info. I will check with Lepidoptera experts in Glamorganshire VC41 which species found here and maybe we will get some more information when we next encounter C.militaris. VC41 - seems to be frequent on unimproved pasture which we still have quite a lot left. Next Foray in November on good site.
Next question (for a later post) what Cordyceps and allied genera found in upland Peru?:)
Mark
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Chris Yeates
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Re: Cordyceps militaris

Post by Chris Yeates » Mon Oct 19, 2015 4:57 pm

marksteer wrote:I have seen this frequently on unimproved pasture (prime Waxcap sites) and I wonder if anyone has ideas on host/s for this? I think condition of remains is often difficult for Entomologists to identify! It seems many Cordyceps and allied genera are host specific. The 'medicinal' Orphicordyceps sinensis is reported to be specific to 'Ghost moths' (not sure genus or species) in Tibet and possibly other areas of Asia.
C. militaris is not limited to any insect host; see: http://www.researchgate.net/publication ... evelopment especially the "Cultivation of C. militaris" section. It would appear that the fungus can even be grown on brown rice!, so clearly there is no specificity here; it will certainly attack beetle larvae as well as lepidopteran ones . . .
cheers
Chris
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marksteer
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Re: Cordyceps militaris

Post by marksteer » Mon Oct 19, 2015 5:22 pm

Chris Yeates wrote:
marksteer wrote:I have seen this frequently on unimproved pasture (prime Waxcap sites) and I wonder if anyone has ideas on host/s for this? I think condition of remains is often difficult for Entomologists to identify! It seems many Cordyceps and allied genera are host specific. The 'medicinal' Orphicordyceps sinensis is reported to be specific to 'Ghost moths' (not sure genus or species) in Tibet and possibly other areas of Asia.
C. militaris is not limited to any insect host; see: http://www.researchgate.net/publication ... evelopment especially the "Cultivation of C. militaris" section. It would appear that the fungus can even be grown on brown rice!, so clearly there is no specificity here; it will certainly attack beetle larvae as well as lepidopteran ones . . .
cheers
Chris
Thanks Chris, I have seen this paper before but interested in 'hosts' in the wild to see if we can identify host/hosts in VC41.
'Brown rice' doesn't grow here but plenty of beetle spp.!
Nottingham Uni is doing research on cancer treatments with 'Cordycepin' (I think I've spelt that correctly!) that is only found naturally in 'Cordyceps'
Mark
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marksteer
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Re: Cordyceps militaris

Post by marksteer » Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:43 pm

Chris Johnson wrote:Ghost Moth is Hepialus humuli, which includes a number of subspecies.

The Hepialidae family contains somewhere in the region of 500 species of primitive moths, collectively known as Swift Moths. The larvae reside in the soil and feed on roots (mainly grasses) and often take two years to complete their lifecycle. There are 5 species of Hepialus in Britain, all candidates for Cordyceps. We have three species here in the northwest; the commonest being the Map-winged Swift, but I'm still looking for my first Cordyceps. :(
http://www.outerhebrideslepidoptera.co. ... php?id=185
http://www.outerhebrideslepidoptera.co. ... php?id=147

Cheers, Chris
Looks like we have records in VC41 for H.humuli and H.sylvina so will try and check with Lepidopta experts locally if these are present in our C.militaris locations. I will try to post further information in due course.
Mark
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marksteer
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Re: Cordyceps militaris

Post by marksteer » Thu Oct 29, 2015 9:38 pm

marksteer wrote:
Chris Johnson wrote:Ghost Moth is Hepialus humuli, which includes a number of subspecies.

The Hepialidae family contains somewhere in the region of 500 species of primitive moths, collectively known as Swift Moths. The larvae reside in the soil and feed on roots (mainly grasses) and often take two years to complete their lifecycle. There are 5 species of Hepialus in Britain, all candidates for Cordyceps. We have three species here in the northwest; the commonest being the Map-winged Swift, but I'm still looking for my first Cordyceps. :(
http://www.outerhebrideslepidoptera.co. ... php?id=185
http://www.outerhebrideslepidoptera.co. ... php?id=147

Cheers, Chris
Looks like we have records in VC41 for H.humuli and H.sylvina so will try and check with Lepidopta experts locally if these are present in our C.militaris locations. I will try to post further information in due course.
Mark
Interesting paper at: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=qXy ... ps&f=false
Looks like C.militaris is not picky on hosts!
Mark
'The more I know the more I realise I don't know'

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