Fungi And Insects: A Complicated Relationship

It may surprise you to discover that fungi is more closely related to insects than to plants, so think about that the next time you bite into a mushroom. In fact, the relationship between bugs and fungi is close enough that a wide variety of insects live with fungal infections during the most significant developmental stages of their relatively short lives.

For flies, beetles and butterflies, living with fungal infections is the norm. Beetles and butterflies will often contract fungal infections during their larval stage.  Flies, for example, represent the only order of insect that live with fungal infections for their entire lives, which is from the time they are cute little maggots all the way up to adulthood. This lifelong infection is likely due to the fact that flies are capable of inhabiting such a wide variety of different environments. Flies get their food from such diverse sources that avoiding fungus is a near impossibility. Also, fly larvae can be found in just about any type of environment that you can imagine, especially moist environments where fungi thrive. For many bugs, but flies especially, their old ancestor, fungi, stick with them throughout every moment of their lives. So if you are concerned with a fly’s sense of loneliness, you can rest easy.

So, if you like mushrooms on your pizza, then does it follow that you would order one with crickets?

About smithereenpestmanagement

Smithereen Pest Management provides IPM pest services to residential and commercial clients in Kansas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Missouri.
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