TitleFossil evidence of insect pathogens
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsPoinar, GO, Poinar, R
JournalJournal of Invertebrate Pathology
Type of ArticleJournal Article

The present report describes fossil evidence of insect pathogens, heretofore, almost non-existent, from six samples of amber ranging in age from 15 to 100 million years. They include a cytoplasmic polyhedrosis virus and trypanosomatid infection in an adult biting midge (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae), and a nuclear polyhedrosis virus in an adult sand fly (Diptera: Phlebotomidae), both from Early Cretaceous Burmese amber, several types of fungal thalli on the cuticle of an adult mosquito (Culicidae: Diptera), as well as a fungal growth on the prothorax of a fungus gnat (Mycetophilidae: Diptera) in Dominican amber and large tumors in the body cavity of a caterpillar (Lepidoptera) in Mexican amber. These discoveries suggest that insect polyhedrosis viruses were present 100 million years ago and present the possibility that vertebrate arboviruses (especially those in the family Reoviridae) could have evolved from cytoplasmic polyhedrosis viruses infecting biting insects. The flagellates in the Early Cretaceous biting midge represent the first fossil record of monogenetic trypanosomatid infections of arthropods. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

URL<Go to ISI>://WOS:000231917300007