Pictorial supplement to The Fifth Kingdom - Chapter 16

Mutualistic symbioses between 
fungi and animals
(16 pictures)
(the CD-ROM has full text, 30 pictures, 1 video sequence)

(1) Leaf-cutting ants, Leucoagaricus and Lepiota

16-1 attine.jpg (5221 bytes) leaf-cutting ant (belongs to the Tribe Attini) carrying a leaf and a passenger.
atta distribution.jpg (8984 bytes) distribution of the genus Atta.  Although its main base is in South America, its range extends to Texas and Cuba.
atta combs2.jpg (12194 bytes) excavated fungus gardens of Atta cephalotes (from Fisher, Stradling and Pegler 1994)
   X 1/4
atta comb1.jpg (16483 bytes) fungus garden of Acromyrmex (from Fisher et al. 1994).
   X 3/4
atta bromatia.jpg (18950 bytes) bromatia (inflated hyphal tips) of the cultivated fungus, Leucoagaricus gongylophorus (Agaricales).  These are the main food of the ants (from Fisher et al. 1994).
   X 350

(2) Termites and Termitomyces

16-2 termite mound .jpg (8021 bytes) sectioned termite mound (Macrotermitinae).  The upper part is an air-conditioning system; the animals live below, with the royal chamber in the centre, and the fungal combs around the periphery.
16-3 termite dining.gif (7814 bytes) termites can't actually digest wood - they must have either microbial gut endosymbionts (as in the New World), or an exosymbiont in the form of a fungus (as in the Old World).
16-4 termite comb.jpg (6319 bytes) one of the fungal combs in a nest of Odontermes (Macrotermitinae).
16-5 termite queen.jpg (8798 bytes) a termite queen surrounded by workers.
16-6 termite queen cartoon.gif (10381 bytes) termite queen cartoon - she is perpetually pregnant, so can perhaps be excused for exhibiting pica.
16-7 niche cartoon.jpg (10809 bytes) "You call this a niche?" (comment attributed to an upwardly mobile attine female)
16-8 termites feeding.jpg (7506 bytes) termite workers tending fungal comb.
16-9 termite mound section.jpg (8262 bytes) diagrammatic section of a termite mound.
16-10 Termitomyces excavation.jpg (10211 bytes) excavation of basidiomata of Termitomyces arising from a subterranean comb.
16-11 Termitomyces.jpg (5803 bytes) rooting basidiomata of Termitomyces sp.
16-12 Termitomyces2.jpg (6651 bytes) rooting basidiomata of Termitomyces albuminosus.
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Mycologue Publications 2001