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Open Access Epitypification and re-description of the zombie-ant fungus, Ophiocordyceps unilateralis (Ophiocordycipitaceae)

The type of Ophiocordyceps unilateralis (Ophiocordycipitaceae, Hypocreales, Ascomycota) is based on an immature specimen collected on an ant in Brazil. The host was identified initially as a leaf-cutting ant (Atta cephalotes, Attini, Myrmicinae). However, a critical examination of the original illustration reveals that the host is the golden carpenter ant, Camponotus sericeiventris (Camponotini, Formicinae). Because the holotype is no longer extant and the original diagnosis lacks critical taxonomic information – specifically, on ascus and ascospore morphology – a new type from Minas Gerais State of south-east Brazil is designated herein. A re-description of the fungus is provided and a new phylogenetic tree of the O. unilateralis clade is presented. It is predicted that many more species of zombieant fungi remain to be delimited within the O. unilateralis complex worldwide, on ants of the tribe Camponotini.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2018

This article was made available online on February 19, 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Fusarium oligoseptatum sp. nov., a mycosymbiont of the ambrosia beetle Euwallacea validus in the Eastern U.S. and typification of F. ambrosium".

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  • Fungal Systematics and Evolution is an international, peer-reviewed, open-access, full colour, fast-track journal. Papers will include reviews, research articles, methodology papers, taxonomic monographs, and the description of fungi. The journal strongly supports good practice policies, and requires voucher specimens to be deposited in a fungarium, cultures in long-term genetic resource collection, sequences in GenBank, alignments in TreeBASE, and taxonomic novelties in MycoBank.
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