Symbiosis between beetles and fungi arose multiple times during the evolution of both organisms. Some of the most biologically diverse and economically important are mutualisms in which the beetles cultivate and feed on fungi. Among these are bark beetles and Harringtonia, a fungal genus that produces Raffaelea-like asexual morph and hosts the causal agent of laurel wilt, H. lauricola (formerly Raffaelea lauricola). In this study, we propose four new species of Harringtonia associated with beetles from Belize and Florida (USA). We hope to contribute towards a more robust and inclusive phylogenetic framework for future studies on these beetle-fungi relationships and their potential impact in crops and forests worldwide.
Keywords: Ophiostomataceae; Ophiostomatales; Raffaelea; ambrosia beetles; symbiosis.