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      First finding of the parasitic fungus Hesperomyces virescens (Laboulbeniales) on native and invasive ladybirds (Coleoptera, Coccinellidae) in South Africa Translated title: Première mention du champignon parasite Hesperomyces virescens (Laboulbeniales) chez des coccinelles indigènes et envahissantes (Coleoptera, Coccinellidae) en Afrique du Sud

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          Hesperomyces virescens is a fungal ectoparasite (Laboulbeniales) that infects adult ladybirds. Research has recently focused on this parasite due to the discovery of its prevalence on the globally invasive harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis and for its potential use in studies of co-evolution and pathogen spread. We collected adults from ten species of ladybirds in the Western Cape Province, South Africa, and screened for the presence of H. virescens. Infections with H. virescens were found in the samples of two species, H. axyridis and the native Cheilomenes propinqua. This marks the first record of H. virescens on H. axyridis from the African continent and the first record on Cheilomenes worldwide.

          Translated abstract

          Hesperomyces virescens est un ectoparasite fongique (Laboulbeniales) qui infecte les coccinelles adultes. La recherche a récemment mis l’accent sur ce parasite en raison de la découverte de sa prévalence sur la coccinelle asiatique Harmonia axyridis, invasive au niveau mondial, et pour son utilisation potentielle dans les études de co-évolution et de propagation des pathogènes. Nous avons recueilli les adultes de dix espèces de coccinelles dans la province du Cap occidental, Afrique du Sud et recherché la présence de H. virescens. Des infections à H. virescens ont été trouvées dans les échantillons de deux espèces, H. axyridis et Cheilomenes propinqua, une espèce indigène. Ceci est la première mention de H. virescens sur H. axyridis sur le continent africain et la première mention sur Cheilomenes dans le monde.

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          Most cited references 4

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          Laboulbenia slackensis and L. littoralis sp. nov. (Ascomycota, Laboulbeniales), two sibling species as a result of ecological speciation.

          Laboulbenia littoralis is described from the halobiont Cafius xantholoma (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae); it previously was misidentified and not properly documented. Morphologically the new species belongs to a group of carabidicolous taxa similar to Laboulbenia pedicellata and especially Laboulbenia slackensis. It is generally accepted that the specificity of Laboulbeniales is based on their need for substances from the host. In this relatively strict context, shifts between unrelated hosts are difficult to explain. We present morphological and ecological evidence supporting the hypothesis that these fungi are capable of shifting between unrelated hosts as long as they share the same habitat. Adaptation to a particular environment, combined with a reduced dependence from specific nutrients of the host, explains the proposed interfamilial host shift.
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            Influence of Host Gender on Infection Rate, Density and Distribution of the Parasitic Fungus, Hesperomyces virescens, on the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle, Harmonia axyridis

             E. Riddick (2006)
            Hesperomyces virescens Thaxter (Laboulbeniales: Laboulbeniaceae) is a parasitic fungus that infects lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) via horizontal transmission between adults at overwintering and feeding sites. The differential behavior of male and female hosts could have profound effects on intensity of infection and positioning of fungus on the host's integument. The influence of host gender on infection rate, density and distribution of this parasite on the multicolored Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), was determined at a feeding site. Adult H. axyridis were sampled from pecan, Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch, trees in northern Mississippi, USA, during summer and early fall 2003–2004. Results indicated that the behavior of male or female beetles on pecan trees had only a limited effect on the intensity of infection. When averaged over the entire season, the percentage of H. axyridis infected with H. virescens was not influenced by host gender. In 2003, a seasonal average of 54 and 39% of males and females, respectively, were infected; whereas in 2004, 36 and 41% of male and female beetles, respectively, were infected. The percentage of males infected with H. virescens was correlated with the number of males captured at the site in 2003; infection rate decreased as male abundance increased. Infection rate did not correlate with female abundance in 2003 or male or female abundance in 2004. Host gender had a considerable effect on the density and distribution of the fungus. Hesperomyces virescens mature thalli were denser on male rather than female beetles. Also, thallus density was often greatest on the elytra, meso- and metathorax, and abdomen of males and elytra of females, than on other body parts, in 2003. In 2003 and 2004, approximately 59 and 97% and 67 and 96% of males and females, respectively, had mature thalli distributed on the elytra. Prevalence of H. virescens thalli on the dorsum of H. axyridis females suggests that mating behavior is important in fungal transmission. However, prevalence of thalli on the dorsum of H. axyridis males suggests that behaviors other than mating contribute to the transmission of H. virescens onto male beetles. Spread of H. virescens ascospores from infected to uninfected H. axyridis adults of different generations, at feeding sites, might be vital to maintaining stable populations of the fungus.
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              Infection of Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) by Hesperomyces virescens (Ascomycetes: Laboulbeniales): Role of mating status and aggregation behavior


                Author and article information

                EDP Sciences
                09 February 2016
                : 23
                : ( publisher-idID: parasite/2016/01 )
                [1 ] Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University Cambridge Massachusetts USA
                [2 ] Centre for Invasion Biology, Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University Stellenbosch South Africa
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author: dhaelewaters@ 123456fas.harvard.edu
                parasite150098 10.1051/parasite/2016005
                © D. Haelewaters et al., published by EDP Sciences, 2016

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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