The Canadian Entomologist (2013) 145, 543-546

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Nathan Woodbury and Gerhard Gries (2013)
Fungal symbiont of firebrats (Thysanura) induces arrestment behaviour of firebrats and giant silverfish but not common silverfish
The Canadian Entomologist 145 (5), 543-546
Abstract: We have recently shown that firebrats, Thermobia domestica (Packard) (Thysanura: Lepismatidae), carry, and deposit with their faeces, the symbiotic bacterium Enterobacter cloacae (Jordan 1890) Hormaeche and Edwards 1960 (Enterobacteriaceae) and the symbiotic fungus Mycotypha microspora Fenner, 1932 (Mycotyphaceae), and that these microbes induce arrestment behaviour and aggregation of firebrats. Here, we tested whether giant silverfish, Ctenolepisma longicaudata Escherich (Thysanura: Lepismatidae), and common silverfish, Lepisma saccharina (Linnaeus) (Thysanura: Lepismatidae), also arrest in response to these two microbes. In dual-choice bioassays, E. cloacae arrested firebrats but not giant silverfish or common silverfish, whereas M. microspora arrested firebrats and giant silverfish but not common silverfish. As close relatives, firebrats and giant silverfish have similar microclimate and nutrient requirements and may use M. microspora as the same aggregation cue when they aggregate in hot and humid microclimates where M. microspora proliferates and breaks down cellulose. As a more distant relative to firebrats and giant silverfish, common silverfish seem to require a different as yet unknown aggregation cue or signal, possibly one that is indicative of the type of microclimate (room temperature; high humidity) they prefer.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Gerhard Gries

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
general biology - morphology - evolution

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Lepisma saccharina
Ctenolepisma longicaudata
Thermobia domestica