Hypocreales » Ophiocordycipitaceae


Ophiocordyceps Petch, Trans. Br. mycol. Soc. 16(1): 73 (1931)

Sordariomycetes, Hypocreomycetidae, Hypocreales, Ophiocordycipitaceae

Index Fungorum number: IF 3598; 242 morphological species (Species Fungorum 2020), 125 species with sequence data.

Parasitic on arthropods, worldwide. Sexual morph: Stromata or subiculum darkly pigmented or rarely brightly coloured, tough, fibrous, pliant to wiry, rarely fleshy, often with aperithecial apices or lateral pads. Ascomata superficial to completely immersed, ordinal or oblique in arrangement. Asci cylindrical, 8-spored, rarely fusoid to ellipsoid, usually with thickened ascus apex. Ascospores fasciculate, hyaline usually cylindrical, multi-septate, disarticulating into part-spores or non-disarticulating (Maharachchikumbura et al. 2016).

Type species: Ophiocordyceps blattae (Petch) Petch

Notes: Ophiocordyceps is the type genus of Ophiocordycipitaceae (Sung et al. 2007). Quandt et al. (2014) emended this genus based on morphology and phylogenetic analyses. Based on phylogenetic analyses, the oldest name in the Ophiocordycipitaceae clade is Sorosporella, a synonym of Syngliocladium. Sorosporella was suppressed (Quandt et al. 2014), while Syngliocladium was previously treated with respect to the second oldest name Hirsutella (Evans & Samson 1982). Ophiocordyceps should be protected over the other names. Most species of the genus are considered as entomopathogenic and have darkly pigmented, tough, fibrous, pliant to wiry, stipitate or sessile stromata, superficial to completely immersed perithecia and ascospores disarticulating into part-spores or non-disarticulating (Sung et al. 2007). The asexual morphs of this genus are members of Hirsutella, Hymenostible, Paraisaria and Syngliocladium (Sung et al. 2007). (Adopted from Hyde et al. 2020)

Host range: Lepidoptera, Hemiptera, Hymenoptera.


Other species:

Ophiocordyceps cossidarum Y.P. Xiao, T.C. Wen, Zha & K.D. Hyde

Ophiocordyceps cylindrospora Y.P. Xiao, T.C. Wen & K.D. Hyde

Ophiocordyceps formosana (Kobayasi & Shimizu) Wang et al. in Wang et al.

Ophiocordyceps karsti T.C. Wen, Y.P. Xiao & K.D. Hyde [as 'karstii'], in Li et al.

Ophiocordyceps issidarum Y.P. Xiao, T.C. Wen, Zha & K.D. Hyde



Evans HC, Samson RA. 1982 – Cordyceps species and their anamorphs pathogenic on ants (Formicidae) in tropical forest ecosystems 1. The Cephalotes (Myrmicinae) complex. Transactions of the British Mycological Society 79, 431–453.

Hyde KD, Norphanphoun C, Maharachchikumbura SS, Bhat DJ, Jones EB, Bundhun D et al. 2020 – Refined families of Sordariomycetes. Mycosphere 11: 305–1059.

Maharachchikumbura SSN, Hyde KD, Jones EBG, McKenzie EHC, Bhat JD, Dayarathne MC, et al. 2016 – Families of Sordariomycetes. Fungal Diversity. 79, 1–317. doi: 10.1007/s13225-016-0369-6

Quandt CA, Kepler RM, Gams W, Araújo, Ban S, Evans HC et al. 2014 – Phylogenetic-based nomenclatural proposals for Ophiocordycipitaceae (Hypocreales) with new combinations in Tolypocladium. IMA Fungus 5, 121–134.

Sung GH, Hywel-Jones NL, Sung JM, Luangsa-ard JJ, Shrestha B, Spatafora JW 2007 – Phylogenetic classification of Cordyceps and the clavicipitaceous fungi. Studies in Mycology 57, 5–59.


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