Cordyceps militaris (L.: Fr.) Link 1818

Taxonomy
Authority: 
(L.: Fr.) Link
Citation: 
Obs. Mycol. 2: 317 (1818)
Synonymy: 

Clavaria militaris L., Sp. Planatarum, p. 1182. (1753)
Hypoxylon militaris (L.) Merat, Nouv. Fl. Envir. Paris, p. 137. (1821)
Xylaria militaris (L.) Gray, Nat. Arr. Brit. Pl. (London) p. 510. (1821)
Sphaeria militaris (L.:Fr.) Fr., Syst. Mycol. 2: 325 (1823)
Torrubia militaris (L.:Fr.) Tul. & C. Tul., Sel. Fung. Carpol. 3: 6. 1865.

Classification: 
Cordyceps s. s., Cordycipitaceae, Hypocreales, Hypocreomycetidae, Sordariomycetes, Pezizomycotina, Ascomycota, Fungi
Common Names: 
militaris
Morphology
Stroma: 

Stipitate, yellowish-orange to orange to reddish-orange; shape cylindrical to slightly clavate; stipe 1.5 - 3 mm thick; fertile clava terminal, 2.0 - 6.0 mm wide; overall stroma 1.5 - 7.0 cm tall but can vary in length depending on the size of the host.

 
Perithecia: 

Perithecia ovoid, 500-720 — 300-480 µm; yellowish-orange to orange to reddish-orange; presented at right angles to the suface of stroma, closely-packed, pseudoimmersed in a layer of hyphae without a differentiated cortex.

Asci: 

Asci narrowly cylindric, 300-510 — 3.5-5 µm with a 3.5-5 µm thick apical cap.

 
Ascospores: 

Ascospores filiform, multiseptate, breaking into 1-celled partspores, 2-4.5 — 1-1.5 µm.

 
Anamorph
Genus: 
Lecanicillium
Citation: 
Zare & Gams (2001) Nova Hedwigia 73: 1050.
Ecology
Host or Substrate: 

Mostly on lepidopteran pupae with rare reports on lepidopteran and coleopteran larvae.

Known Distribution: 
Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Taiwan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America
Notes
Specimens Examined: 

OSC 93623

Commentary: 

Cordyeps militaris is the type of the genus Cordyceps and as such served as the foundation for the generic revision of Sung et al (2007). It is probably the best known species of Cordyceps. It occurs throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere as a pathogen of lepidopteran pupae, with the hosts generally assumed to be members of assorted moth families. There do exist occassion reports and collections of C. militaris from the Southern Hemisphere and from nonlepidopteran hosts, but it is not known if these collections are conspecific with C. militaris.

References
Page Author: 
Joey Spatafora