Cordyceps military (Cordyceps militaris) photo and description

Military Cordyceps (Cordyceps militaris)

  • Department: Ascomycota (Ascomycetes)
  • Subdivision: Pezizomycotina (Pesizomycotins)
  • Class: Sordariomycetes (Sordariomycetes)
  • Subclass: Hypocreomycetidae
  • Order: Hypocreales
  • Family: Cordycipitaceae (Cordyceps)
  • Genus: Cordyceps (Cordyceps)
  • Species: Cordyceps militaris (military cordyceps)

Military Cordyceps (Cordyceps militaris)


Stromas are solitary or growing in groups, simple or branched at the base, cylindrical or club-shaped, unbranched, 1-8 x 0.2-0.6 cm, various shades of orange. The fertile part is cylindrical, clavate, fusiform or ellipsoidal, warty from the perithecia protruding in the form of darker points of the stomata. The stem is cylindrical, pale orange or almost white.

Bags are cylindrical, 8-spore, 300-500 x 3.0-3.5 microns.

Ascospores are colorless, filamentous, with numerous septa, almost equal in length to the bags. As they mature, they disintegrate into separate cylindrical cells 2-5 x 1-1.5 microns.

The pulp is whitish, fibrous, without any special taste or smell.


The military cordyceps is found on the pupae of butterflies buried in the soil (very rarely on other insects) in forests. Fruiting from June to October


The edibility is not known. The military has no nutritional value. It is actively used in oriental medicine.


Military cordyceps - One of the most widespread species of the genus. Found in Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa. In Russia, it is recorded from the tundra to the southern regions. The size, shape of the stroma and the intensity of color are very variable and depend on the size of the affected insect and the habitat conditions.