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Submitted on
September 3, 2012
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Ant Killer Fungus by melvynyeo Ant Killer Fungus by melvynyeo
Different killer fungus from the description below... but this fungus attack ants as well.

BBC Video [link]

It could be the plot from a straight-to-DVD horror movie - a fungus slowly turns host creatures into zombies before killing them off.

But such parasites are a reality and are destroying colonies of ants in the Amazonian rainforest. The fungus latches on to carpenter ants as they cross the forest floor before returning to their nests high in the canopy.

The fungus then grows inside the ants, taking over their bodies and releasing chemicals to alter their behaviour. Some of the insects wander off to find fresh leaves, while others fall from the tree tops on to leaves nearer the ground.

It is all part of the mechanism used by the fungus to ensure its spores are spread as far and wide as possible.

The final stage of the parasitic death sentence is particularly grim. The fungus will 'guide' the infected ant to a leaf and lock their mandibles in a 'death grip' around the central vein, immobilising themselves and locking the fungus in position.

Once an ant has died, the fungus sprouts from its head and produces a pod of spores, which are dropped at night on to the forest floor.

The fungus cannot grow high up in the canopy or on the forest floor, but infected ants often die on leaves midway between the two, where the humidity and temperature suit the fungus.
Source [link]
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Northern-Leuchte Sep 10, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
animals fungi organisms sorry not animals
Northern-Leuchte Sep 10, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Vile creatures D<

Some animals serve no better purpose than to keep the other pointless things in lower population. nghh

This isn't quite the same, but
I caught a mouse in my basement once who'd
been infected by a fly or something, and was actually
infested with larvae when I caught it.
They ended up killing it, and eating it alive.
It was both cool to watch, and horrible for
the mouse at the same time.
It was filled with the larvae when I caught it,
and was devoured after it died.
Horrible, but cool to watch. =P
Ahhh.... sounds horrible!
shaq-fu-yung Sep 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Often wonder what course of events leads life (especially non sentient life) down such bizarre evolutionary paths. Fantastic shot in any case.
floggerSG Sep 6, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Crappy way to go!
raido-ehwaz Sep 5, 2012  Professional Photographer
great shot!
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