Massospora cicadina (entomopathogen)
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Massospora cicadina (entomopathogen) Peck 1878
This fungus has been reported as infecting cicadas of the genus Magicicada in North America. While cicada nymphs emerging from the ground only contain conidia, adults also produce resting spores. The prevalence of the fungus suggests that populations of certain cicadas are signifficantly reduced (White & Lloyd, 1983). The life cycle of the fungus is evidently synchronised with the very long life cycle of the cicadas.
Similar to the genus Strongwellsea, fungi of the genus Massospora disperse conidia while the infected host insect is still alive. In Massospora, only the tip of the abdomen becomes infected. This breaks off and the adult scatters conidia and resting spores when it moves around. Conidia infect other adult cicadas and resting spores contaminate breeding places and eventually infect nymphs.
For a review of the life cycle of this fungus see Hajek et al. (2018).