Where Do They Fit In?!

Domain: Eukarya                                                             All members of the Eukarya, including Caterpillar Fungus, are         multicellular organisms and have complex cells that contain   membrane bound organelles as well as a true nucleus.

Kingdom: Fungi                                                                All members of the Fungi Kingdom, which includes Caterpillar Fungus, are non-vascular, multicellular organisms that have cell walls composed of chitin. Another example of a fungi may be your popular pizza mushroom, Psilocybe cubensis.


Phylum: Ascomycota                                                     Caterpillar Fungus fits in the Ascomycota Phlylum, which are commonly referred to as sac fungi, because they produce sexual spores, ascospores, in an ascus.  A popular example of an Ascomycota is the Penicillium chrysogenum, which produce the popular


Class: Eukarya                                                                   The Sordariomycetes are one of the largest classes of the Ascomycota. This class is characterized by perithecial (flask-shaped) ascomata and unitunicate asci.

Order: Hypocreales                                                          The Hypocreales are classified as having bright colored, spore producing structures. It is usually difficult to pick out a hypocreale because they are typically identified at a molecular level.

Family: Clavicipitaceae                                   Caterpillar Fungus have been carefully placed into the Clavicipitaceae Family because many of these members produce alkaloids (nitrogen based chemical compounds) which can be toxic to humans and animals.

Genus: Cordyceps                                                            The Cordyceps Genus, as well as Caterpillar Fungus, is well known for infecting a host from the inside out, mainly insects or arthropods and even on other fungi. This fungi uses its mycelium to invade and replace tissue from its host. Caterpillar Fungus clearly gets its name from having a particular host but invading in the same fashion. This image to the right is another Cordyceps species that holds a parasitic relationship with underground insects. Cordyceps Militaris is similar to Cordyceps sinesis with this characteristic.


Species: Cordyceps sinesis                                     This species has a parasitic relationship with the larvae of the Genus Thitarodes which are found on the Tibetan Plateau. Take a look at this link to find where this parasitic relationship would mostly occur!

Continue to the learn about the habitat&&adaptations of this species!  

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