Isaria cicadae Miq., 1838 (syn: Cordyceps cicadae (Miq.) Massee, 1895 (ambiguous synonym); Cordyceps cicadae S. Z. Shing, 1975 (ambiguous synonym); Paecilomyces cicadae (Miq.) Samson, 1974);
Isaria cicadae submission : 8 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (5)
Here’s one new and interesting addition to site.
Common Name – Cicada Flower, Jinchanhua (Chinese name )
Family – Cordycipitaceae
Isaria cicadae belongs to the interesting group of entomopathogenic fungi closely related to well known Ophiocordyceps (Yarsagumba).
This fungi infects the nymph stage of Cicada species, deriving nurishment from it and ultimately leading to death of infected cicada.
Photographed at Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh
In July 2019
Quick perusal of google search superficially tells you that entomopathogenic fungi infect only Insects but scroll a little more or be vigilant.
One finds a lot of papers. one i found withing seconds from a human patient.
please be very careful when handling any FUNGI. I keep saying this. … and you. both take lots of these pictures. be careful
…… generally all the mushrooms (macro fungi) including even most poisonous ones can not harm just by touching/handling them they need to be ingested to cause adverse effects.
But yes in case of few of these specialised entomopathogenic fungi (generally smaller and microscopic ones) and many molds species one needs to take care while handling them.
Particularly about this genus and some other Ophiocordyceps species they do not cause any adverse effects at least by handling and even these fungi have many important phytochemicals so are also used in medicines.
So we can atleast handle almost all macro fungi without any concern but keeping in mind that we are not inhaling its spores from its matured fruiting body and not ingesting it.
And yes thanks for your concern … 🙂
How is it different from images at Isaria farinosa (Holmsk.) Fr. ?
Isaria genus is still a less worked genus at least in Indian Subcontinent with probably many species that are still undescribed, many species look much similar in morphology with only little differences, so one should be an expert who can examine the specimens microscopic details and can also do more phylogenetic analysis.
A reply from an entomopathogenic expert Nigel Hywel-Jones about my I. cicadae –
… this is certainly an Isaria on a cicada nymph. I am working on this group in China but would hesitate to put a name to it for now. Several species have been described from around the World but none from the Indian sub-continent. With an old morphology based study of insect pathogenic isarioid fungi all those species off cicada nymphs were reduced to a single name – Isaria cicadae. As with many insect fungus groups molecular phylogenetics is demonstrating that what was once considered one species turns out to be several. This is beginning to prove the case also for cicada Isaria.’
About Isaria farinosa –
Isaria tenuipes complex differs from Isaria farinosa in having near pale yellow stroma while latter (I. farinosa) having much orange stroma.
So for now it will be better to make species page as Isaria cf. cicadae for this one.
While in the other two cases as host is not known so it can be either Isaria cf. cicadae if host was a cicada nymph or if some lepidoptera its likely something in Isaria tenuipes complex which comprises several undescribed species and is known from South East Asia.