© M.J. Walker et al., published by EDP Sciences, 2018. The Darién province in eastern Panama is one of the most unexplored and biodiverse regions in the world. The Chucantí Nature Reserve, in Serranía de Majé, consists of a diverse tropical cloud forest ecosystem. The aim of this research was to explore and study host associations of a tripartite system of bats, ectoparasitic flies on bats (Diptera, Streblidae), and ectoparasitic fungi (Ascomycota, Laboulbeniales) that use bat flies as hosts. We captured bats at Chucantí, screened each bat for presence of bat flies, and screened collected bat flies for presence of Laboulbeniales. We mistnetted for 68 mistnet hours and captured 227 bats representing 17 species. We captured Micronycteris schmidtorum, a species previously unreported in Darién. In addition, we encountered the rarely collected Platyrrhinus dorsalis, representing the westernmost report for this species. Of all captured bats, 148 carried bat flies (65%). The number of sampled bat flies was 437, representing 16 species. One species represents a new country record (Trichobius anducei) and five species represent first reports for Darién (Basilia anceps, Anatrichobius scorzai, Nycterophilia parnelli, T. johnsonae, T. parasiticus). All 74 bat fly species currently reported in Panama are presented in tabulated form. Of all screened bat flies, 30 bore Laboulbeniales fungi (7%). Based on both morphology and large ribosomal subunit (LSU) sequence data, we delimited 7 species of Laboulbeniales: Gloeandromyces nycteribiidarum (newly reported for Panama), G. pageanus, G. streblae, Nycteromyces streblidinus, and 3 undescribed species. Of the 30 infected flies, 21 were Trichobius joblingi. This species was the only host on which we observed double infections of Laboulbeniales.
Walker, M. J., Dorrestein, A., Camacho, J. J., Meckler, L. A., Silas, K. A., Hiller, T., & Haelewaters, D. (2018). A tripartite survey of hyperparasitic fungi associated with ectoparasitic flies on bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) in a neotropical cloud forest in Panama. Parasite, 25, 19. https://doi.org/10.1051/parasite/2018017