|Elytral tips of a Harmonia axyridis ladybird with thalli of Hesperomyces virescens (Laboulbeniales)|
|Class:|| Laboulbeniomycetes |
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).
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).
Ascomycota is a phylum of the kingdom Fungi that, together with the Basidiomycota, forms the subkingdom Dikarya. Its members are commonly known as the sac fungi or ascomycetes. It is the largest phylum of Fungi, with over 64,000 species. The defining feature of this fungal group is the "ascus", a microscopic sexual structure in which nonmotile spores, called ascospores, are formed. However, some species of the Ascomycota are asexual, meaning that they do not have a sexual cycle and thus do not form asci or ascospores. Familiar examples of sac fungi include morels, truffles, brewer's yeast and baker's yeast, dead man's fingers, and cup fungi. The fungal symbionts in the majority of lichens such as Cladonia belong to the Ascomycota.
Pezizomycotina make up the majority 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.
The Parmeliaceae is a large and diverse family of Lecanoromycetes. With over 2700 species in 71 genera, it is the largest family of lichen-forming fungi. The most speciose genera in the family are the well-known groups: Xanthoparmelia, Usnea, Parmotrema, and Hypotrachyna.
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.
Neolecta is a genus of ascomycetous fungi that have fruiting bodies in the shape of unbranched to lobed bright yellowish, orangish to pale yellow-green colored, club-shaped, smooth, fleshy columns up to about 7 cm tall. The species share the English designation "Earth tongues" along with some better-known fungi with a similar general form, but in fact they are only distantly related.
The Pezizales are an order of the subphylum Pezizomycotina within the phylum Ascomycota. The order contains 16 families, 199 genera, and 1683 species. It contains a number of species of economic importance, such as morels, the black and white truffles, and the desert truffles. The Pezizales can be saprobic, mycorrhizal, or parasitic on plants. Species grow on soil, wood, leaves and dung. Soil-inhabiting species often fruit in habitats with a high pH and low content of organic matter, including disturbed ground. Most species occur in temperate regions or at high elevation. Several members of the Sarcoscyphaceae and Sarcosomataceae are common in tropical regions.
Gyalectales is an order of lichen-forming fungi in the class Lecanoromycetes. It contains 5 families, 15 genera and about 550 species.
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. 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.
Leotia is a genus of cup fungi of the phylum Ascomycota. Leotia species are globally distributed, and are believed to be saprobic. They are commonly known as jelly babies because of the gelatinous texture of their fruiting bodies.
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.
Gloeandromyces is a genus of fungi in the family Laboulbeniaceae. The genus contains 5 species. All species are associated with Neotropical bat flies.
Hesperomyces is a genus of fungi in the family Laboulbeniaceae. The genus contain five species, including the type-species Hesperomyces virescens. H. virescens is a parasite of the harlequin ladybird, Harmonia axyridis.
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.
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.
Rickia wasmannii is a species of the widely distributed entomoparasitic order of fungi Laboulbeniales. It is an obligatory parasite 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.
Cryptandromyces elegans is a species of fungi in the family Laboulbeniaceae. It is found in the Netherlands.
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 is a family of crustose and corticolous lichens in the order Lecanorales. It contains seven genera and about 70 species.
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.
Trichotheliaceae is a family of lichenized fungi in the order Gyalectales. The family was circumscribed by Friedrich von Schilling and Friedrich August Georg Bitter in 1927.