Burenellidae (entomopathogens)

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ovoid meiospores (octospores) and bacilliform binucleate free spores of Vairimorpha invictae in workers of Solenopsis invicta (click on image to enlarge it)
Authors: Juan Briano, Luis Calcaterra, and Laura Varone
Source:Psyche (2012), art. 198084

Burenellidae - Vairimorpha Pilley, 1976

The microsporidia in the family Burenellidae are known as causing diseases in ants, other insects, and other arthropods. They are intracellular pathogens, characterised by producing 2 or 3 morphologically different forms of spores. For example, Vairimorpha invictae causes a microsporidian disease in fire ants and reproduces either by forming groups of eight oval spores by meiosis (octospores), each with only one nucleus, or by producing rod-shaped binucleate spores.

The genus Vairimorpha contains around 10 species of microsporidia. They infect different types of insects like Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera and Diptera, but also crustaceans.

Type species of Vairimorpha: Vairimorpha necatrix


Currently, the following species have been entered into the system: