Friday, 29 August 2014

Friday Fungus: The Zombie Ant Army

Be afraid! Be very afraid! You know the Threat Level thing? This is Threat Level Zombie Ants!

The research focused on a species from the genus Ophiocordyceps — known as “zombie ant fungi” — which control their ant hosts by inducing a biting behavior. Although these fungi infect many insects, the species that infect ants have evolved a mechanism that induces hosts to die attached by their mandibles to plant material, providing a platform from which the fungus can grow and shoot spores to infect other ants.

This little fungus takes over the ants brains and leads them to a place where the fruiting head can grown and spawn the source for more zombie ants!


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