Nebraska Academy of Sciences


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1989: Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences XVII: 23-28. Copyright © 1989 Grigg and Williams.


Trichomycetes (fungi) inhabit the digestive tract of insects and other arthropods. Two genera. Smittium and Amoehidium, were collected from mosquito larvae (Culicidae) from 36 sites in a six-county area of central Nebraska, U.S.A., in the Platte River floodplain during the summers of 1986 and 1987. When present, thirty mosquito larvae per site per month were identified at the fourth instar, checked for the epizooite A. parasiticum, and then dissected and the gut examined by phase-contrast microscopy for S. culisetae and S. culicis. In 1986, 17 species of mosquito larvae from six genera (n = 665) were dissected and 22.7% were infested with Smittium spp. and 14.7% with Amoehidium sp. In 1987, eight species from four genera (n = 380) were dissected and 26.6% were infested with Smittium spp. and 11.8% with Amoehidium sp. (n+n = 1045). The percentage of trichomycete infestation remained similar from year to year, although the yearly total of dissected potential hosts varied. Two sites had Smittium species only once each in two years, which suggests that host continuity is not necessary for trichomycete infestation

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