Novel taxa and species diversity of Cordyceps sensu lato (Hypocreales, Ascomycota) developing on wireworms (Elateroidea and Tenebrionoidea, Coleoptera).
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3 November 2022
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Species of Cordyceps sensu lato (Hypocreales, Sordariomycetes) have always attracted much scientific attention for their abundant species diversity, important medicinal values and biological control applications. The insect superfamilies Elateroidea and Tenebrionoidea are two large groups of Coleoptera and their larvae are generally called wireworms. Most wireworms inhabit humid soil or fallen wood and are often infected with Cordyceps s.l. However, the species diversity of Cordyceps s.l. on Elateroidea and Tenebrionoidea is poorly known. In the present work, we summarise taxonomic information of 63 Cordyceps s.l. species that have been reported as pathogens of wireworms. We review their hosts and geographic distributions and provide taxonomic notes for species. Of those, 60 fungal species are accepted as natural pathogens of wireworms and three species (Cordyceps militaris, Ophiocordyceps ferruginosa and O. variabilis) are excluded. Two new species, O. borealis from Russia (Primorsky Krai) and O. spicatus from China (Guizhou), are described and compared with their closest allies. Polycephalomyces formosus is also described because it is reported as a pathogen of wireworms for the first time. Phylogeny was reconstructed from a combined dataset, comprising SSU, LSU and TEF1-α gene sequences. The results, presented in this study, support the establishment of the new species and confirm the identification of P. formosus.