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.
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 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 narrowly cylindric, 300-510 — 3.5-5 µm with a 3.5-5 µm thick apical cap.
Ascospores filiform, multiseptate, breaking into 1-celled partspores, 2-4.5 — 1-1.5 µm.
Mostly on lepidopteran pupae with rare reports on lepidopteran and coleopteran larvae.
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.
Sung et al., 2007. Phylogenetic classification of Cordyceps and the clavicipitaceous fungi. Studies in Mycology, 57(1), p.5-59.