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Leaf litter Ciidae

Ciids may be considered saprophagous on decaying basidiomes or parasites of live fungi. In the latter perspective, the evolution of certain characteristics of ciid host fungi (such as chemical composition, consistency and phenology) can be interpreted as being driven by fungivory. Adults of apterous and micropterous species are usually collected in leaf-litter, but it is still unknown whether they are saprophagous on debris or associated with microfungi, or are found there while dispersing between basidiomes (Lopes-Andrade 2007a).

The ciid species exhibit different degrees of host specificity, and some host-use groups are recognizable (Orledge & Reynolds 2005). Sometimes, however, ciids are found in other habitats. Scott (1926) reported the collection of one Cis stevensoniae Scott between the leaf-bases of a growing palm, emphasizing that the presence of a ciid in such a habitat might have been accidental. Zimmerman (1938) described several Polynesian Cis, which were more often found beneath the bark of dead twigs, limbs or trunks of shrubs and trees or dead fern fronds; he also mentioned that Polynesicis specimens were beaten from dead branches, ferns and Piper, and were also found beneath dead bark. Kawanabe (1995) cited several host fungi for Nipponapterocis, but also mentioned that Nipponapterocis brevis Miyatake is often extracted from litter by using a Berlese funnel.

Israelson (1985) mentioned that Atlantocis species were found under the bark of trees and also among debris on the ground, but that Atlantocis lauri (Wollaston) was also collected in woody fruiting bodies of fungi. For Neoapterocis gen.
nov., collection data are available just for Neo. mexicanus sp. nov., of which no specimen was found in basiodiocarps.
It is obvious that the extreme reduction or loss of hind wings is an impediment for flight, and that in such cases  movement between fungi must occur via the ground or by means of other modes of dispersal (not reported for Ciidae yet). However, without more biological information, it is not possible to say whether some non-volant ciids are restricted to habitats other than the fruiting bodies of fungi or are just found on the ground while dispersing. Moreover, nothing indicates that this mode of dispersal or life is an exclusive attribute of apterous or micropterous ciids, or of insular species. However, it can be stated that the collection of basiodiocarps does not guarantee the sampling of all Ciidae species in faunistic or taxonomic works.
(Lopes-Andrade 2007a).




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