Home Is Where You Make IT!

Cordyceps sinesis, or Caterpillar Fungus, is found on the caterpillar species, Hepialus armoricanus, in certain parts of the world including some provinces in China, along with other parts of the higher hills of the Himalayas including Nepal, Tibet, and India. Cordyceps sinesis is probably not the first organism someone would search for in these areas when there are mammals such as black bears and snow leopards roaming around. The Cordyceps sinesis species also owns a Tibetan name,  yadza gümbu, which translates to 'summer grass, winter worm'. This is because the spores of Cordyceps sinesis actually infect the caterpillar during the autumn season  and have the carcass completely filled with its mycelium by spring. This spores of this species are spread by natural forces, like the wind, and land on soil and plants where the insect feeds, allowing the spores to germinate within the insect. The deceased caterpillar turns yellowish to brown in color while the fruiting body continues to grow into summer until it begins to protrude out of the head of the infected host. The fruiting body contains more spores to be dispersed by wind back into nature to be fed on again as the cycle continues.

This species is able to be successful in its life cycle because of the intense conditions the fungi have adapted to. Being able to thrive 3000 to 5000 meters above sea level is critical for Cordyceps sinesis which are found in the Himalayan Mountains. Those that withstand the conditions have powerful defenses against the conditions considering the low oxygen levels leave few life forms. They also have to withstand freezing temperatures within the deep soil of the Tibetan plateau and Himalayan regions. Other organisms from Asia that are used to produce medicines include  Ginseng which is also found near Nepal and Dendrobium officinal found in South Asia.


           Move on to the learn about the History of this species!                     Classification page!



Contact Me!