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Many animals have been shown to eat fungi and most truffle-like fungi depend on animals for spore dispersal via mycophagy. Although these interactions are widespread, they are understudied in many habitats. In this study, we show that bonobos (Pan paniscus) forage and feed on an undescribed truffle species in the rainforests of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Based on morphological and molecular assessment of collections, we show that the species eaten by bonobos is a previously undescribed taxon described here as Hysterangium bonobo. This species is known in the local Bantu language (Bongando) as simbokilo and is used for baiting traps to catch several species of small mammals. Our findings highlight the need for further research into mycophagy and systematics of sequestrate fungi in Africa.


  • 1 new taxon, African fungi, Hysterangiales, Phallomycetidae, primate mycophagy, truffle taxonomy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1203-1211
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Early online date4 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020

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