Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol 24, Issue 3 2018; Page No.(1349-1354)

A REPORT ON THE MYCOPHAGY IN BOLITOTHERUS CORNUTUS (PANZER) FROM THE TROPICAL RAIN FOREST OF MALAYSIA

Meghma Bera and Narayan Ghorai

Abstract

Consumption of mycelium, basidiome or spores of fungi is considered to be some of the oldest feeding habits of mycophagus insects. The present study demonstrates a unique mycetobiont Bolitotherus cornutus (Panzer) of Tenebrionidae: Coleoptera (forked fungus beetle) interacting with Phellinus gilvus (Schwein.) Pat. of Hymenochaetaceae. Basidiomes growing on the stumps of dipterocarps were found to be invested heavily with the adult male and female insects during day time. Some adults were found feeding voraciously on fungal tissues and also found copulating but no larvae or pupae were found on the basidiome. Some young adults, newly emerged from pupal stage, were also recorded. Bolitotherus cornutus is known to be a nocturnal insect and during the summer they become active (feed and copulate) at night. Our present observation contradicts the previous studies and possible causes of this behavioral shift are discussed.

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