Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Sleeman, DP,Jones, P,Cronin, JN;
History Journal
Investigations of an association between the stinkhorn fungus and badger setts
Optional Fields
stinkhorn fungus badger blowfly interactions spore dispersal Ireland ECOSYSTEM DIPTERA CATTLE
Fruiting bodies of the stinkhorn fungus (Phallus impudicus) were commonly found near badger setts, clustered in the zone 24-39 m from sett entrances. The odour from the spore-covered gleba of the fruiting body attracted several species of hy, principally Polietes lardaria, Phaonia subventa, Calliphora vomitoria, Calliphora vicina, Lucilia caesar and Lucilia sericata. The latter four, all blowflies, were also among the dominant species attracted to and reared from, badger carcases. The number of female flies at stinkhorns was significantly higher than that of males. Behavioural studies showed that female, but not male Calliphora vomitoria were attracted to the smell of the stinkhorn gleba. Flies feeding on the spore-laden mucilage on the gleba defaecated more rapidly than when feeding on dung or sucrose, thereby rapidly depositing large numbers of spores. The implications of these findings are discussed in terms of a hypothetical stinkhorn-badger association, and of the overall ecology of badgers.
Grant Details