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The Entomophthorales are an order of fungi that were previously classified in the class Zygomycetes. A new subdivision, Entomophthoromycotina, has recently been circumscribed for them.[1]

Entomophthora muscae on Scathophaga stercoraria (lateral view).jpg
Entomophthora muscae
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Entomophthoromycota
Class: Entomophthoromycetes
Order: Entomophthorales
(list may be incomplete)

Most species of the Entomophthorales are pathogens of insects. A few attack nematodes, mites, and tardigrades, and some (particularly species of the genus Conidiobolus) are free-living saprotrophs.

The name Entomophthorales is derived from the Greek for insect destroyer (Gk: entomo=insect, phthor=destroyer).

Green peach aphid, Myzus persicae, killed by the fungus Pandora neoaphidis (Zygomycota: Entomophthorales) Scale bar = 0.3 mm.


Highlighted speciesEdit


Most species of the Entomophthorales produce ballistic asexual spores that are forcibly discharged. When not landing on a suitable host, these spores can germinate to make one of several alternate spore forms, including a smaller version of the original spore, or (in some species) an adhesive spore elevated on a very slender conidiophore called a capilliconidiophore.


Recent debate has centered on whether the Basidiobolaceae should be included in the Entomophthorales, or raised to ordinal status. Molecular systematics approaches so far give an ambiguous answer. Some analyses suggest the Basdiobolaceae are more closely related to certain chytrid fungi than to the Entomophthorales.[3] Others find weak support to maintain them in the Entomophthorales.[4] Morphological characters can be found to support either hypothesis.


  1. ^ Hibbett DS, Binder M, Bischoff JF, et al. (May 2007). "A higher-level phylogenetic classification of the Fungi". Mycol. Res. 111 (Pt 5): 509–47. CiteSeerX doi:10.1016/j.mycres.2007.03.004. PMID 17572334.
  2. ^ Dromph KM, Eilenberg J, Esbjerg P (November 2001). "Natural occurrence of entomophthoralean fungi pathogenic to collembolans". J. Invertebr. Pathol. 78 (4): 226–31. doi:10.1006/jipa.2002.5077. PMID 12009804.
  3. ^ Nagahama, T.; Sato, H.; Shimazu, M.; Sugiyama, J. (1995). "Phylogenetic divergence of the entomophthoralean fungi: evidence from nuclear 18S ribosomal RNA gene sequences". Mycologia. 87 (2): 203–209. doi:10.2307/3760906. JSTOR 3760906.
  4. ^ James, T. Y.; Kauff, F.; Schoch, C. L.; et al. (2006). "Reconstructing the early evolution of Fungi using a six-gene phylogeny". Nature. 443 (7113): 818–823. doi:10.1038/nature05110. PMID 17051209.

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