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Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855

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Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855

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Hook.
(Hook.) Berk.
Berk.
1855
202
ICN
NZ holotype
species
Cordyceps robertsii

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robertsii

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Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855

On larvae of Hepialus virescens ; mostly under tree-ferns, in spring. Common. One of the most remarkable of the Entomogenous Fungi, which exists in almost every collection of singular natural productions. The species is admirably figured by Corda, in almost all its details. As in most allied species, the perithecia vary greatly as to the degree in which they are immersed. Some general information on the Fungus will be found in Hook. Lond. Journ. vol. ii. p. 309, where several other insect Sphaeriae are described.

Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855

Auckland: Huia, June 1949, J.M.D. (10938); February, 1951, K.Wood (10597); Laingholm, December 1930, M.Hodgkins (10600); Little Barrier Is., October 1945, J.M.D. (4440); Orere, February 1953, J.M.D. (11891.). Taranaki: Mt. Egmont, November 1924, J.C.Neill (1795); November 1927, G.H.Cunningham (3280); March 1951, J.M.D. (10598). Wellington: Raurimu, January 1920, E.H.Atkinson (191). Collections examined in the herbarium of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Sphaeria robertsii C. neglecta Massee, Colensi, N.Z. Sph. robertsii Colenso 1321. Sph.. robertsii Hook. Mr. Stephens. Sph. robertsii Hook. - hugelii Cke. N.Z. (ex Herb. Hook). Cordyceps robertsii Hook., Dr. Berggren, 1879 N.Z. ; Sph. robertsii on Hepialus virescens, F.Moore, 1864 (ex Herb. Currey).
Endoselerotiuin retaining form of host, hyphae 3-5 µ diameter; branched, gemmae globose or oval, 5-6 µ diameter, terminal, intercalary or lateral, single or in clusters. Stroma 10-18 cm. long, usually single, rarely dichotomously branched, arising from cervical region of endosclerotium; stem 10-15 µ [sic; should be "cm."] long, 1.5-2 mm. diameter, bay brown, clothed with chestnut hairs at the base, pseudoparenchymatous or prosenchymatous, inner mycelium often disintegrating, then stem hollow, outer tissue pseudoparenchymatous, cells 5-8 µ diameter, thick-walled, pigmented brown. Fertile head more or less terminal 5-10 cm. long, apical tip sterile. Perithecia discrete but caespitose, arranged at right angles to the main axis, oval or cuneate 0.4-0.5 x 0.6-0.75 mm.; perithecial wall 20-50 µ thick, showing greatest development around ostiolum, cells 4-10 x 4-6 µ, pigmented and thickened. Asci linear, cylindrical, sometimes acicular 250-420 x 10-14 µ, head globose or broadly oval 5-5.5 x 4.0 µ; canal narrow, 4-8 spored, spores loosely twisted in a fascicle; pseudoparaphyses diffluent. Spores filiform, acicular, multiseptate, 250-380 x 1.5-2 µ, part-spores 6-12 x 1-1.5 µ, rectangular, hyaline, smooth. Conidial stage unknown.
DISTRIBUTION. New Zealand.
HABITAT. On larva of Oxycanus sp. (Lepidoptera).

The species is common in the North Island of New Zealand. Perithecia are free, cuneate and lighter coloured than the stalk. A small sterile apiculate tip is always present.

In the herbarium of the Commonwealth Mycological Institute there is a specimen ex herb. Sydow from Chile (ex P.A.Hollenmeyer No. 1765) labelled C. robertsii; this superficially resembles New Zealand material but perithecia and asci are smaller.

Kobayasi (1941) listed the species as C. larvarum Westwood. Westwood (1836) did not publish this combination, but merely stated that "he believed that a Clavaria sp. parasitised the caterpillar" and in a footnote added that this species was described by Sir W.Hooker in Icones Plantarum as Clavaria lavarum. Hooker, however, described and illustrated this species as Sphaeria robertsii. Berkeley mentions the name Sphaeria forbesii when quoting a letter from J.E.Gray, but did not append a description. No material is filed under C. hugelii in the herbarium of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, but in the folder of Cordyceps robertsii there is a collection labelled Sph. robertsii Hook. - hugelii Cke., N.Z. This collection, and Corda's illustration and description. are comparable with Cordyceps robertsii. Massee (1895) described a form which differs from the type in that perithecia are flask-shaped and with a long slender neck; he named this variety C. hugelii var. neglecta Massee. At Kew no collection is filed under this name, but there is one labelled "Sphaeria robertsii - ? Cordyceps neglecta Massee, N.Z., Colenso. This is a typical specimen of Cordyceps robertsii parasitised by a species of Torrubiella and is presumably the type of Massee's variety. Kobayasi (1941) listed this form as C. larvarum (Westwood) Olliff var. neglecta (Massee) Kobayasi and described it as a synonym of C. robertsii (Hook.) Gray var. neglecta Massee.

Myers in Cunningham (1921) stated that "practically all the earlier naturalists accepted without question the current belief that the host of this species was Hepialus virescens Dbd. as it was the only larva large enough to coincide with the vegetable caterpillar . . . Hudson was the first to point out the improbability of the arboreal Hepialus as a host seeing that the infected larva was invariably found underground . . . . " Later Myers stated that it was probable that the usual host of C. robertsii is Porina (Oxycanus) dinodes Myers in the South Island and P. (Oxycanus) enysii Buller in the North. Parasitised larva of Hepialus virescens have been collected, but unfortunately the fertile portions of the stroma are missing. The vegetative parts and the conidial form suggests that it. may be a different species. In Kew herbarium all specimens are parasitic on typical larva of Oxycanus sp. although in many cases they were labelled Hepialus virescens.

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Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. (1855)
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. (1855)
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. (1855)
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. (1855)
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. (1855)
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. (1855)
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. (1855)
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. (1855)
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. (1855)
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855

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Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
New Zealand
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
New Zealand
Auckland
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
New Zealand
Bay of Plenty
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
New Zealand
Buller
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
New Zealand
Coromandel
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
New Zealand
Gisborne
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
New Zealand
Hawkes Bay
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
New Zealand
Northland
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
New Zealand
Otago Lakes
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
New Zealand
Southland
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
New Zealand
Taranaki
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
New Zealand
Taupo
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
New Zealand
Waikato
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
New Zealand
Wellington
Cordyceps robertsii (Hook.) Berk. 1855
New Zealand
Westland

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1cb18305-36b9-11d5-9548-00d0592d548c
scientific name
Names_Fungi
1 January 2001
14 August 2009
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