New records and host plants of fly-speck fungi from Panama
MetadataShow full item record
Fly-speck fungi are inconspicuous Ascomycota mainly found in the tropics and subtropics. They form small scutellate fruiting bodies, called thyriothecia, on the surface of host organs. They are plant parasites on living leaves and stems (Theissen, 1913; Stevens and Ryan, 1939), saprobes on dead leaves and stems (Ellis, 1976) or commensals (fungal epiphylls) on living leaves (Gilbert et al., 2006). Saprobes are found in temperate zones as well as in the tropics or subtropics. True plant parasites and commensals, which are thought to be species-rich, are delimited to tropical or subtropical regions of the world. Most fly-speck fungi belong to one of two subclasses of bitunicate Ascomycota: Chaetothyriomycetidae or Dothideomycetidae (Kirk et al., 2001). The systematic relationships between families, genera and species are not solved yet, as complete phylogenetic studies are lacking for this group, except for some members of Chaetothyriomycetidae (Berbee, 1996; Liu and Hall, 2004) and Dothideomycetidae (e.g. Tam et al., 2003). In the past, many authors described tropical fly-speck fungi (e.g. Theissen, 1913; Sydow, 1927; Hansford, 1946). During the last decades 55 members of fly-speck fungi have been described from many tropical and subtropical regions: Africa (Mibey and Hawksworth, 1997), Asia (e.g. Hosagoudar and Abraham, 1998; Song et al., 2004), Australia (Reynolds and Gilbert, 2005) and North America (e.g. Ahn and Crane, 2004). However, only Batista (1959), Batista et al. (1963) and Farr (1986, 1987) published morphologic and taxonomic studies on this group in the neotropics, and only from Brazil. As the diversity of fly-speck fungi is very high in tropical latitudes (Batista, 1959), our knowledge is still very incomplete. During recent field work in Panama, many tropical fly-speck fungi were observed. Only the flyspeck fungi Chaetothyrina panamensis (F. Stevens & Dorman) Arx (Dennis, 1970), Chaetothyriopsis panamensis F. Stevens & Dorman (Stevens, 1927), Micropeltis bakeri Syd. & P. Syd. (Cash and Watson, 1955), Yamamotoa carludovicae (Bat.) Arx & E. Müll. (Sivanesan, 1984), Scolecopeltidium bakeri (Syd. & P. Syd.) F. Stevens & Manter (Batista, 1959) and Scolecopeltidium mayteni Bat. & I.H. Lima (Gilbert et al., 1997) are known so far from Panama. In the present study six species new for Panama on several new host plants are described and illustrated. We are convinced that many more species will be found in Panama during future field work.