1. The thoracic legs are reduced, but always present, and they move by rolling waves rather than walking with individual prolegs. So far the oldest known text documenting its use was written in the late 15th century by the Tibetan doctor Zurkhar Nyamnyi Dorje (Wylie: Zur mkhar mnyam nyid rdo rje)[1439-1475]) in his text: Man ngag bye ba ring bsrel ("Instructions on a Myriad of Medicines"). Learn more. They even use a lubricant, a kind of liquefied silk, to move. "This caterpillar will bury itself down a couple inches into the soil. Winkler, D. 2005. (n.d). It is common throughout Europe, except for in the far south-east. The first mention of Ophiocordyceps sinensis in traditional Chinese medicine was in Wang Ang’s 1694 compendium of materia medica, Ben Cao Bei Yao. "Caterpillar fungus" is a preferred term. sensu, Hirsutella sinensis and H. hepiali and Synnematium sinnense are synonymous and only H. sinensis is only validly published in articles. While it has been collected for centuries and is still common in such areas, current collection rates are much higher than in historical times. The name was first recorded in the 15th century by the Tibetan doctor Zurkhar Namnyi Dorje.  Evidence based on microcyclic conidiation from ascospores and molecular studies support H. sinensis as the anamorph of the caterpillar fungus, O. sinensis. the Japanese reading of the characters for the Chinese name, https://www.npr.org/2011/10/09/141164173/caterpillar-fungus-the-viagra-of-the-himalayas, "The World's Most Valuable Parasite Is in Trouble. Abantiades pica: Mallee Ghost Moth Abantiades sericatus; Abantiades sui Abantiades tembyi Abantiades zonatriticum.  The hand-collected, intact fungus-caterpillar body is valued by herbalists as medicine, and because of its cost, its use is also a status symbol..  The stipe is slender, glabrous, and longitudinally furrowed or ridged. This page was last edited on 17 August 2020, at 21:36. Caterpillars have long, worm-like bodies with six true legs. Thus Hirsutella sinensis is considered the validly published anamorph of O. sinensis, Cordyceps nepalensis and C. multiaxialis which had similar morphological characteristics to O. sinensis, also had almost identical or identical ITS sequences and its presumed anamorph, H. sinensis. In November 2011, a court in Nepal convicted 19 villagers over the murder of a group of farmers during a fight over the prized aphrodisiac fungus.  The fungus was known as Cordyceps sinensis until 2007, when molecular analysis was used to amend the classification of the Cordycipitaceae and the Clavicipitaceae, resulting in the naming of a new family Ophiocordycipitaceae and the transfer of several Cordyceps species including C. sinensis to the genus Ophiocordyceps.. It is an entomopathogenic fungus (a fungus that grows on insects) in the family Ophiocordycipitaceae. In late autumn, chemicals on the skin of the caterpillar interact with the fungal spores and release the fungal mycelia, which then infects the caterpillar. The complete life cycle takes 1-2 years. Ophiocordyceps sinensis (formerly known as Cordyceps sinensis), is known in English colloquially as caterpillar fungus, or by its more prominent names yartsa gunbu (Tibetan: དབྱར་རྩྭ་དགུན་འབུ་, Wylie: dbyar rtswa dgun 'bu, literally "summer grass, winter worm"), or dōng chóng xià cǎo (Chinese: 冬蟲夏草) or Yarsha-gumba or Yarcha-gumba, यार्सागुम्बा (in Nepali language) or Keeda Jadi, or ရှီးပတီး (in Burmese language). Four-spotted Ghost Moth Sthenopis purpurascens (Packard, 1863) Family: Hepialidae. A caterpillar is the larval stage of a moth or butterfly. The caterpillars prone to infection by O. sinensis generally live 15 cm (5.9 in) underground in alpine grass and shrub-lands on the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayas at an altitude between 3,000 and 5,000 m (9,800 and 16,400 ft). , The use of caterpillar fungus as folk medicine apparently originated in Tibet and Nepal. Ghost moth larvae are grass root-boring caterpillars that have a life cycle of up to 5 years, most of that spent underground. Spores infect the larvae while they live underground before pupating. The spores of the fungus penetrate the cuticle of a hibernating ghost moth caterpillar, digesting the caterpillar’s vital parts. Caterpillars are elongate and cylindrical, and live in tunnels in the soil or bore into stems of living trees and shrubs. Other Cordyceps species grow all over the world, mainly in Asia in humid tropical forests. Here at Shady Oak we sell Oak Trees to feed Polyphemus Moths. Fungal sclerotia are multihyphal structures that can remain dormant and then germinate to produce spores. Both are large moths that have tree boring caterpillars sometimes called Witchity Grubs in Australia. The ghost moth or ghost swift (Hepialus humuli) is a moth of the family Hepialidae. We depend on donations to keep Butterflies and Moths of North America freely available. A review by Wang and Yao (2011) found 56 potential insect hosts of O. sinensis, primarily “ghost moth” larvae of the genus Thitarodes (37 species). However, no one has succeeded so far in rearing the fungus by infecting cultivated caterpillars; all products derived from cultured Ophiocordyceps are derived from mycelia grown on grains or in liquids. ... Ghost Moths and Wood Moths (51) and Stachybotrys sp. Wildlife and plants in traditional and modern Tibet: Conceptions, Exploitation and Conservation. In Japanese, it is known by the Japanese reading of the characters for the Chinese name, tōchūkasō (冬虫夏草). The larvae are typically very flattened, and instead of prolegs, they have suckers. ", "Demand for 'Himalayan Viagra' Fungus Heats Up, Maybe Too Much", "The mushrooming fungi market in Tibet exemplified by, "Caterpillar Fungus (Ophiocordyceps sinensis) Production and Sustainability on the Tibetan Plateau and in the Himalayas", "The 'Viagra' transforming local economies in India", 'Himalayan viagra': Six men get life for Nepal murders, 10.2990/1471-5457(2005)24[2:TMPWAC]2.0.CO;2, "Cordyceps collected from Bhutan, an appropriate alternative of Cordyceps sinensis", "High Diversity of the Fungal Community Structure in Naturally-Occurring, Yartsa Gunbu (Cordyceps sinensis) in Tibet, An Electronic Monograph of Cordyceps and Related Fungi, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ophiocordyceps_sinensis&oldid=973554142, Fungi used in traditional Chinese medicine, Articles containing Standard Tibetan-language text, Articles containing Chinese-language text, Articles containing Japanese-language text, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2016, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2019, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2018, Articles with Chinese-language sources (zh), Taxonbars with automatically added basionyms, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. 1. In India, it is known as keera jhar, keeda jadi, keeda ghas or ghaas fafoond in Nepali, Hindi and Garhwali. It preys specifically on the larvae of several species of ghost moths in the Thitarodes genus. In English Thitarodes is known as "ghost moth".  Climate change is suspected to be negatively affecting the mountain organism. The parasitic fungus, Cordyceps sinensis to science, only exists high on the Tibetan plateau, where it grows through the body of its host - the ghost moth caterpillar - killing it … In this case, the insect that's invaded is the caterpillar of the ghost moth. Females carry enormous numbers of eggs. The Ophiocordyceps sinensis fungus is one of the most expensive and sought-after biological resources, but it’s better known around the world as yartsa gunbu, yarsagumba, or Himalayan Viagra. Sphaeria sinensis Berk. Description. We believe your caterpillar is a Polyphemus Caterpillar.  The stroma is the upper fungal part and is dark brown or black, but can be a yellow color when fresh, and longer than the caterpillar itself, usually 4–10 cm. The species is found among the high-altitude Himalayan meadows of Tibet, as well as in Bhutan, India and Nepal. Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand. All species are parasites. , The slow growing O. sinensis grows at a comparatively low temperature, i.e., below 21 °C. Isaria farinosa is combined to Paecilomyces farinosus and is not the anamorph. In Tibet it is known as དབྱར་རྩྭ་དགུན་འབུ་ (Wylie: dbyar rtswa dgun 'bu, ZYPY: 'yarza g̈unbu', Lhasa dialect: [jɑ̀ːt͡sɑ kỹ̀pu], "summer grass winter bug"). Jiang, Y. Y., & Yao, Y. J. Feeding ends by early July, and mature caterpillars can be as long as 6.35 cm (2.5 inches). The Ghost moth is a treasured insect in Faeroe Islands. The Hepialidae are members of the Superfamily Hepialoidea. In 2004 the value of a kilogram of caterpillars was estimated at about 30,000 to 60,000 Nepali rupees in Nepal, and about Rs 100,000 in India. Cordyceps sinensis is just one species in a genus of hundreds. Polyphemus Moth Antheraea polyphemus Experience the wonder of metamorphosis! Yartsa Gunbu - Cordyceps sinensis. Hepialidae is an old family. In rural Tibet, yartsa gunbu has become the most important source of cash income. Hsieh, C., et al., A Systematic Review of the Mysterious Caterpillar Fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis in Dong-ChongXiaCao and Related Bioactive Ingredients. Subfamily: Identification: Wing Span: Life History: Flight: Caterpillar Hosts: Adult Food: Habitat: Range: Conservation: NCGR: Management Needs: Comments: Taxonomy Notes: None. were identified only up to generic level, and it is dubious that they are anamorph. (1843) Cordyceps sinensis (Berk.) Hill H. Art. The fertile part of the stroma is the head.  Perithecial, ascus and ascospore characters in the fruiting bodies are the key identification characteristics of O. sinensis. Ghost moths - family Hepialidae - are an ancient group.  They are now cultivated on an industrial scale for their use in TCM. They arose early in the evolution of the Lepidoptera … more than 100 million years ago, when dinosaurs were still the apex predators and our continent had not yet broken away from Gondwana. O. sinensis parasitizes the larvae of moths within the family Hepialidae, specifically genera found on the Tibetan Plateau and in the Himalayas, between elevations of 3000 m and 5000 m. The fungus germinates in the living larva, kills and mummifies it, and then a dark brown stalk-like fruiting body which is a few centimeters long emerges from the corpse and stands upright. In: A. BOESI & F. CARDI (eds.). Mortierella hepiali is discarded as anamorph as it belongs to Zygomycota. The caterpillars live inside the trunks of a variety of broadleaved trees feeding on the wood. In traditional Chinese medicine, its name is often abbreviated as chong cao (蟲草 "insect plant"), a name that also applies to other Cordyceps species, such as C. militaris.  Prices have increased continuously, especially since the late 1990s. , "Vegetable caterpillar" redirects here. Gradually the host larvae become rigid because of the production of fungal sclerotia. The stalk-like dark brown to black fruiting body (or mushroom) grows out of the head of the dead caterpillar and emerges from the soil in alpine meadows by early spring. Luna Moth Caterpillars and Polyphemus Moth Caterpillars can be difficult to distinguish from one another. Soon a … If ordering els Ghost Moth Hepialus humuli (Linnaeus, 1758) Wingspan c.50 mm. One of only three species of this family that are found in the British Isles. By 2002, the 'herb' was valued at R 105,000 ($1,435) per kilogram, allowing the government to charge a royalty of R 20,000 ($280) per kilogram. Consequently they are unlikely to be found unless the ground is disturbed.  Overharvesting and overexploitation have led to the classification of O. sinensis as an endangered species in China. Wingspan around 50 mm. , The price of Ophiocordyceps sinensis is reported to have increased dramatically on the Tibetan Plateau, about 900% between 1998 and 2008, an annual average of over 20% (after inflation). Liu G(1), Han R(1), Cao L(1). -食药监食监三〔2016〕21号》. The transliteration in Bhutan is yartsa guenboob. Its value gave it a role in the Nepalese Civil War, as the Nepalese Maoists and government forces fought for control of the lucrative export trade during the June–July harvest season. As they grow, bumps develop along their backs with coarse black hairs.  Fifty-seven taxa from several genera (37 Thitarodes, 1 Bipectilus, 1 Endoclita, 1 Gazoryctra, 3 Pharmacis, and 14 others not correctly identified to genus) are recognized as potential hosts of O. sinensis. The search for Ophiocordyceps sinensis is often perceived to threaten the environment of the Tibetan Plateau where it grows. The Hepialidae are a family of insects in the lepidopteran order. Some also refer to it as the caterpillar fungus because it grows out of the head of ghost moth larvae. The quality of the Bhutanese variety has been shown to be equal to the Tibetan one.  Additional research needs to be carried out in order to understand its morphology and growth habits for conservation and optimum utilization. XXXVI: The Vegetable Caterpillar (Cordiceps robertsii).  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Kind of liquefied silk, to move or ridged to Get InvolvedBe a CoordinatorPartner with UsRegister the of!