Tag Archive for ‘Fungi’

Zombie ants: meet the parasitic fungi that take control of living insects

In the understorey of a tropical forest, a carpenter ant has descended from the canopy away from her regular foraging trails and staggers drunkenly along a branch. Her movements are jerky and conspicuous. She twitchily moves forwards and suddenly starts convulsing with such ferocity that she falls from the branch onto the ground before resuming her erratic, zigzaging path. This is a “zombie ant”, and she’s unwittingly become part of the lifecycle of a parasitic fungus commonly known as Cordyceps.

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