Journal article

Amblypygid-fungal interactions: The whip spider exoskeleton as a substrate for fungal growth

Alastair T Gibbons, Alexander Idnurm, Michael Seiter, Paul S Dyer, Matthew Kokolski, Sara L Goodacre, Stanislav N Gorb, Jonas O Wolff

FUNGAL BIOLOGY | ELSEVIER SCI LTD | Published : 2019

Abstract

Fungi and arthropods represent some of the most diverse organisms on our planet, yet the ecological relationships between them remain largely unknown. In animals, fungal growth on body surfaces is often hazardous and is known to cause mortality. In contrast, here we report the presence of an apparently non-harmful mycobiome on the cuticle of whip spiders (Arachnida: Amblypygi). The associations are not species-specific and involve a diversity of fungal species, including cosmopolitan and local decomposers as well as entomopathogens. We discuss the ecology of the detected fungal species and hypothesize that the thick epicuticular secretion coat of whip spiders (the cerotegument) promotes fung..

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University of Melbourne Researchers