Temporal variation in mycophagy and prevalence of fungi associated with developmental stages of Dendroctonus ponderosae (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

Environ Entomol. 2007 Feb;36(1):64-72. doi: 10.1603/0046-225x(2007)36[64:tvimap]2.0.co;2.


Mycophagy by bark beetles is widespread. However, little is known regarding which developmental stages of bark beetles actually feed on fungi. To study this question, we sampled fungi associated with Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) throughout development in naturally attacked trees. Isolations of fungi were made from phloem adjacent to brood and from brood exoskeletons and guts. Overall, the incidence of fungi with individual brood increased as brood development progressed. Grosmannia clavigera (Robinson-Jeffrey and Davidson) Zipfel, de Beer and Wingf. and Ophiostoma montium (Rumbold) von Arx exhibited generally opposing trends in prevalence. G. clavigera was most likely to be found in phloem adjacent to prewintering third- and postwintering fourth-instar larvae. O. montium was most likely to be found in phloem adjacent to eggs, first-instar larvae, pupae, and teneral adults. In contrast to isolations made from phloem, fungi isolated from brood guts and exoskeletons were not observed to shift in prevalence. First- and third-instar larvae were often observed migrating to older portions of their galleries, indicating that they do not spend all of their time feeding at, and extending, the apex of the gallery. Our results suggest that not only are D. ponderosae brood in contact with and feeding on fungi throughout development, but also, that during development, contact of brood with a particular fungus is likely to change. Such temporal shifts in fungal symbionts may be environmentally driven and have important implications in how these fungi interact with their hosts within and across generations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ascomycota / isolation & purification*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Larva / growth & development
  • Larva / microbiology
  • Larva / physiology
  • Ovum / growth & development
  • Ovum / microbiology
  • Ovum / physiology
  • Phloem / microbiology
  • Pinus / microbiology
  • Pupa / growth & development
  • Pupa / microbiology
  • Pupa / physiology
  • Symbiosis
  • Weevils / growth & development
  • Weevils / microbiology*
  • Weevils / physiology