Story: Cicadas

Lethal fungus (1st of 2)

Lethal fungus

While cicada nymphs are living in the soil they may become infected with a parasitic fungus such as this one, Isaria sinclairii. The fungus feeds on the nymph’s insides until it completely fills its body cavity. It then sends a stalk up to the surface and grows the spore-bearing structure seen here. The powdery spores fall to the ground ready to infect other cicada nymphs.

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Kaimai Bush
Photograph by Shirley Kerr

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How to cite this page:

John Marris, 'Cicadas - Life cycle and enemies', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/11013/lethal-fungus (accessed 16 August 2020)

Story by John Marris, published 24 Sep 2007