Date of Submission

Spring 2022

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Patricia Kaishian

Abstract/Artist's Statement

My senior project investigates the relationship between Laboulbeniales (Ascomycota, Fungi) and semi-aquatic Heteroptera (Hemiptera, Insecta) collected in 2018 at the Los Cedros Biological Reserve located in the Ecuadorian Andes. Laboulbeniales are an order of fungi containing ectoparasitic fungi that grow on arthropod hosts, including Heteroptera, which is a relatively understudied yet diverse group of insects. For this work I scanned insects for the presence of Laboulbeniales in order to explore infection rates, patterns of fungal growth on the insect body, and to look for potentially new fungal species Using entomological pins, fungi were removed from the insects, permanently mounted on slides. The infection rate was determined to be 3.549% and a heatmap of the insect body depicting concentrations of fungal growth was generated. The fungal species infecting the insects was identified as a member of the genus Laboulbenia and was determined to be a new, undescribed species. Also in this work, I discuss aspects of the social history of Reserva Los Cedros and the greater Ecuadorian Andes. I also explore the impacts of extractive industries like mining that threaten biodiversity and the livelihoods of indigenous peoples.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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