Friends, Enemies, or Hitchhikers? Exploring the Relationship Between Fungus, Butterfly, and Rest Plant at Fort Jackson, South Carolina
Date of Award
Health Promotion, Education and Behavior
Director of Thesis
Dr. Carol Boggs
Dr. Meredith Blackwell
This study was undertaken to investigate the relationships between butterflies as pollinators, host plants, and fungi. Euptoieta claudia (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) butterflies were captured on flowers at McCrady Training Center, Fort Jackson, South Carolina and the fungi isolated from the legs and abdomens of these butterflies was identified and analyzed. Butterflies were found to carry a variety of fungal species including Penicillium, Cladosporium, Curvularia, Fusarium, and Aspergillus. Butterflies carrying the highest quantity of different species of fungi were captured on Passiflora incarnata flowers, and the number of fungal species per butterfly seems to be due to chance. The most common species of fungi found on butterflies in this study have important medicinal and industrial applications. Also, butterflies possibly transfer the fungi from plant to plant and this could impact the spread of plant and pollinator diseases.
Hannah, Miranda F., "Friends, Enemies, or Hitchhikers? Exploring the Relationship Between Fungus, Butterfly, and Rest Plant at Fort Jackson, South Carolina" (2017). Senior Theses. 162.