T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Beauveria bassiana (Icing Sugar Fungus)

Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Ascomycota
Class: Sordariomycetes
Order: Hypocreales
Family: Cordycipitaceae
Genus: Beauveria
Species: B. bassiana
Binomial name: Beauveria bassiana
Synonym: Cordyceps bassiana
Common name: Icing sugar fungi, White muscardine disease

Beauveria bassiana is a fungus that grows naturally in soils throughout the world and acts as a parasite on various arthropod species, causing white muscardine disease; it thus belongs to the entomopathogenic fungi. It is being used as a biological insecticide to control a number of pests such as termites, whitefly, and different beetles. Its use in the control of the malaria-transmitting mosquitos is under investigation.   This fungus is parasitic on insects in the bush. It seems to kill them from the inside, feeding on the internal organs, and often the dead insect seems to have just stopped in the middle of what ever it was doing. The fungus is also known as "Sugar Icing Fungus"

 When the microscopic spores of the fungus come into contact with the body of an insect host, they germinate, penetrate the cuticle, and grow inside, killing the insect within a matter of days. Afterwards a white mold emerges from the cadaver and produces new spores. A typical isolate of B. bassiana can attack a broad range of insects; various isolates differ in their host range. The factors responsible for host susceptibility are not known.

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beauveria_bassiana for more details

The onset of Beauveria bassiana on a Chorus cicada.


A cicada covered in





Beauveria bassiana on host of a Longhorn Beetle

The underside of the above beetle