Neocosmospora euwallaceae

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Neocosmospora euwallaceae (S. Freeman et al.) Sand.-Den., L. Lombard & Crous 2019

This fungus is a symbiont of the polyphagous shot hole borer (Euwallacea fornicatus), an ambrosia beetle which is native to southern Asia, but invasive in Israel, South Africa and western North America (California). Two closely related Euwallacea species are also invasive in the Americas, but each beetle species apparently has its own species of symbiotic Neocosmospora. For example, the closely related Kuroshio shot hole borer (Euwallacea kuroshio) carries the fungus Neocosmospora kuroshio.

N. euwallaceae has been described from Israel (typus) and was reported also from California (Freeman et al., 2013) and South Africa (Paap et al., 2018). It serves as food for the ambrosia beetle larvae, and the combination of beetle and fungal infestation causes interruption of the xylem function in the host tree, resulting in dieback, wilting and tree death.

Aerial conidia of N. euwallaceae are ellipsoidal to fusiform, with no or 1 septum and an average size of 9 x 4 µm. Sporodochial conidia are mostly falcate to long clavate, with 3-4 septa and an average size of 30 x 8 µm. Thick-walled chlamydospores are formed as chains or in the conidia (Freeman et al., 2013). For a taxonomic review see Sandoval-Denis et al. (2019).

Fusarium euwallaceae