Association of the coprophilous fungus Pirella circinans with an indigenous beetle on the sub-Antarctic Bird Island

Bridge, P. D.; Hughes, K. A.; Denton, J. O.
June 2008
Polar Biology;Jun2008, Vol. 31 Issue 6, p657
Academic Journal
The zygomycete fungus Pirella circinans was isolated from cadavers of the beetle Hydromedion sparsutum from diverse sites on the sub-Antarctic Bird Island and was found to be the dominant or sole fungal coloniser during the primary degradation of cadavers. The fungus was observed to grow and colonise cadavers from discrete areas of the beetle carapace, some of which were not affected by alcohol surface sterilisation. The fungus is commonly reported from the dung of rodents and other small mammals, both of which are absent from Bird Island. Recovery of P. circinans as the only fungus from beetle cadavers is unusual and may indicate a close association between the beetle and the fungus.


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