Experimental Laboratory Infection of Mosquito Larvae With Fungi of the Genus Coelomomyces. II. Experiments With Coelomomyces Punctatus in Anopheles Quadrimaculatus.

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Journal of Invertebrate Pathology





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Experiments on the infection of Anopheles quadrimaculatus with Coelomomyces punctatus indicate that planonts released from sporangia are not infective for mosquito larvae but most likely infect the copepod Cyclops vernalis. Exposure of early-instar larvae to up to 5 × 103 planonts per larva for as long as 48 hr resulted in no larval infections. Motile planonts were no longer detectable after 48 hr. However, incubation of early-instar larvae in media to which planonts, algae, and copepods had been added several days previously resulted in larval infection. Infection did not occur during the first 6 days after planont introduction. On day 7 and for several days thereafter, copepods were detected in the media which had an extensive mycelium developing in the hemocoel. This mycelium cleaved into thousands of posteriorly uniflagellate planonts. The presence of planonts at the time of mosquito infection, in conjunction with the above results, suggests that Cyclops vernalis is an alternate host for Coelomomyces punctatus and that the latter has a life cycle similar to that proposed for C. psorophorae involving a mosquito and a copepod as obligate alternate hosts. In established infection containers, dilution of the media with water significantly increased levels of infection 6 days later. All larval instars were susceptible to C. punctatus.

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