Last updated

Laboulbeniales on Harmonia axyridis (7211939256).jpg
Elytral tips of a Harmonia axyridis ladybird with thalli of Hesperomyces virescens (Laboulbeniales)
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
(unranked): Sordariomyceta
Class: Laboulbeniomycetes
Engler (1898)


The Laboulbeniomycetes are a unique group of fungi that are obligatorily associated with arthropods, either as external parasites (Herpomycetales and Laboulbeniales) or for dispersal (Pyxidiophorales). [1] [2] [3]

Herpomycetales and Laboulbeniales fungi are minute; their fruiting bodies, referred to as thalli, commonly measure less than one millimeter. They live on the antennae, the mouthparts or other body regions of their arthropod hosts. Although several species of Laboulbeniomycetes have more or less extensive, root-like hyphal systems (haustoria) inside their hosts, as a group these fungi are relatively harmless to their hosts. These fungi occur usually only on adult hosts; apparently immature arthropods eliminate them during ecdysis (adult arthropods no longer molt). Some thallus-forming species are dioecious, that is, they have separate female and male individuals, like Herpomyces (in the order Herpomycetales).

Related Research Articles

Pezizomycotina Subdivision of fungi

Pezizomycotina make up most of the Ascomycota fungi and include most lichenized fungi too. Pezizomycotina contains the filamentous ascomycetes and is a subdivision of the Ascomycota. It is more or less synonymous with the older taxon Euascomycota. These fungi reproduce by fission rather than budding and this subdivision includes almost all the ascus fungi that have fruiting bodies visible to the naked eye.

Streblidae Family of flies

The Streblidae are a family of flies in the superfamily Hippoboscoidea, and together with their relatives the Nycteribiidae, are known as bat flies. They are winged or wingless ectoparasites of bats, and often have long legs. They appear to be host-specific, with different species of bat flies occurring only on particular species of bat hosts, sometimes with multiple species of flies sharing a host bat.

Nycteribiidae Family of flies

Nycteribiidae is a family of the true fly superfamily Hippoboscoidea are known as "bat flies", together with their close relatives the Streblidae. As the latter do not seem to be a monophyletic group, it is conceivable not to unite all bat flies in a single family.

Gyalectales Order of fungi

Gyalectales is an order of lichen-forming fungi in the class Lecanoromycetes. It contains 5 families, 15 genera and about 550 species.

Laboulbeniales Order of fungi

The Laboulbeniales is an order of Fungi within the class Laboulbeniomycetes. They are also known by the colloquial name, beetle hangers, or labouls. The order includes around 2,325 species of obligate insect ectoparasites that produce cellular thalli from two-celled ascospores. Of the described Laboulbeniales, Weir and Hammond 1997 find 80% to be from Coleoptera and the next largest group to be the 10% from Diptera. Recently, the genus Herpomyces, traditionally considered a basal member of Laboulbeniales, was transferred to the order Herpomycetales based on molecular phylogenetic data. Laboulbeniales typically do not kill their hosts, although they may impair host fitness if the parasite density is high.

<i>Leotia</i> Genus of fungi

Leotia is a genus of cup fungi of the division Ascomycota. Leotia species are globally distributed, and are believed to be ectomycorrhizal. They are commonly known as jelly babies because of the gelatinous texture of their fruiting bodies.

Geoglossaceae Family of fungi

Geoglossaceae is a family of fungi in the order Geoglossales, class Geoglossomycetes. These fungi are broadly known as earth tongues. The ascocarps of most species in the family Geoglossaceae are terrestrial and are generally small, dark in color, and club-shaped with a height of 2–8 cm. The ascospores are typically light-brown to dark-brown and are often multiseptate. Other species of fungi have been known to parasitize ascocarps. The use of a compound microscope is needed for accurate identification.

Acarosporales Order of fungi

The Acarosporales are an order of fungi in the class Lecanoromycetes. Phylogenetic analyses conducted using the sequences of both the protein-coding gene RPB2 as well as nuclear ribosomal genes place this order within the subclass Acarosporomycetidae.

Ostropomycetidae Subclass of fungi

The Ostropomycetidae are a subclass of mostly lichen-forming fungi in the class Lecanoromycetes. The subclass was circumscribed in 2004 by Catherine Reeb, François M. Lutzoni, and Claude Roux. It contains eight orders and 36 families.


The Baeomycetales are an order of mostly lichen-forming fungi in the subclass Ostropomycetidae, in the class Lecanoromycetes. It contains 8 families, 33 genera and about 170 species. As a result of molecular phylogenetics research published in the late 2010s, several orders were folded into the Baeomycetales, resulting in a substantial increase in the number of taxa.

Mycocaliciaceae Family of fungi in the order Mycocaliciales

The Mycocaliciaceae are a family of seven genera and about 90 species of fungi in the order Mycocaliciales.

<i>Psilolechia</i> Genus of fungi

Psilolechia is a genus of four species of crustose lichens. It is the only member of Psilolechiaceae, a family that was created in 2014 to contain this genus.

<i>Ruhlandiella</i> Genus of fungi

Ruhlandiella is a genus of fungi within the family Pezizaceae. Ruhlandiella species are exothecial hypogeous fungi, which are essentially truffles that lack the outer layer or peridium. Ruhlandiella species are widely distributed in Nothofagaceae forests in South America and near Eucalyptus or Melaleuca plants in Australia, North America, and Europe.

Candelariales Order of fungi

The Candelariales are an order of fungi in the monotypic class Candelariomycetes. It contains the families Candelariaceae and Pycnoraceae. The order was circumscribed by Jolanta Miadlikowska, François Lutzoni, and Helge Thorsten Lumbsch as part of a comprehensive phylogenetic classification of the kingdom Fungi published in 2007. The class Candelariomycetes was created in 2018 by Hermann Voglmayr and Walter Jaklitsch.

<i>Cornicularia</i> Single-species genus of lichen

Cornicularia is a genus of lichenised ascomycetes in the large family Parmeliaceae. It is a monotypic genus, with a single currently accepted species, the saxicolous lichen Cornicularia normoerica. This species has an erect caespitose growth form, and is sometimes referred to as the brittle lichen.

<i>Rickia wasmannii</i> Species of fungus

Rickia wasmannii is a species of the widely distributed entomoparasitic order of fungi Laboulbeniales. It is an obligatory ectoparasite of ants of the genus Myrmica. The thalli penetrate outer layer of the cuticle, and appear on the host body surface. Little is known about its effect on the host ant, but it is usually regarded as a rather neutral symbiont. Contrarily, however, a recent study has documented an increased need of drinking water and a shortened life-span of infected ants.

<i>Herpomyces</i> Genus of fungi

Herpomyces is a fungal genus in the order Herpomycetales (Laboulbeniomycetes), with species that are exclusively ectoparasites of members of the Blattodea order (cockroaches). As of 2020, 27 species of Herpomyces are formally described. Members of Herpomyces have been reported from all continents except Antarctica.

Malmideaceae Family of fungi

Malmideaceae is a family of crustose and corticolous lichens in the order Lecanorales. It contains eight genera and about 70 species.

Herpomycetales Order of fungi

The Herpomycetales is an order of fungi within the class Laboulbeniomycetes. The order includes a single dioecious genus, Herpomyces, with 27 accepted species of obligate ectoparasites that are associated exclusively with cockroaches. Like the Laboulbeniales order, they produce cellular thalli. However, the thalli of Herpomyces are developmentally and morphologically unique.

Trapeliaceae Family of lichens in the order Baeomycetales

Trapeliaceae is a family of lichens in the order Baeomycetales. The family contains 12 genera and about 125 species.


  1. Blackwell, Meredith; Haelewaters, Danny; Pfister, Donald H. (2020). "Laboulbeniomycetes: Evolution, natural history, and Thaxter's final word". Mycologia: 1–12. doi:10.1080/00275514.2020.1718442. ISSN   0027-5514.
  2. Goldmann, Lauren; Weir, Alex (2018). "Molecular phylogeny of the Laboulbeniomycetes (Ascomycota)". Fungal Biology. 122 (2–3): 87–100. doi:10.1016/j.funbio.2017.11.004.
  3. Haelewaters, Danny; Pfliegler, Walter P.; Gorczak, Michał; Pfister, Donald H. (2019). "Birth of an order: Comprehensive molecular phylogenetic study excludes Herpomyces (Fungi, Laboulbeniomycetes) from Laboulbeniales". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 133: 286–301. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2019.01.007. hdl: 2437/262843 .