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Cordyceps are a fungi that infects the host (in this case a beetle) and then instructs the victim to climb as high as possible, where it will die and sprout fruiting bodies. Eventually, the fruiting bodies will erupt and ejecting spores to the wind, which will travel far and wide looking for new hosts.

Ant zombification begins when an Ophiocordyceps fungus shoots spores onto an insect. The parasitic fungus gradually takes over the ant's brain and directs the insect to a cool, moist location. The fungus then kills the ant, and fruiting bodies erupt from the ant's head and spread more spores.

Crickets too can fall prey to zombie fungi (as pictured), though little is known about the fungus species that brought this insect to its horrific end. Hughes plans to remedy that—and expects to find many more zombie fungus species in the forests of Brazil. "This is only the tip," he said, "of what will be a very large iceberg." (See "'Zombie Virus' Possible via Rabies-Flu Hybrid?")

All That Is Interestingfrom All That Is Interesting

21 Fascinating Photographs Of Cordyceps And The Killer Fungus’ Insect Hosts

Cordyceps, or “Zombie Fungus” are a parasitic fungus Spores from this killer fungus infect the insect’s brain, and, later, the fruiting body of the cordyceps will erupt from that insect’s head and body.

io9from io9

Fungal infection causes tarantula to grow antlers

Poor thing! Fungal infection causes tarantula to grow antlers This image may look like something dreamed up for a surreal horror movie, but it's a real horror for the tarantula in question. This unfortunate arachnid is infected with Cordyceps, a parasitic fungus that replaces its host's tissue with its own.

Myrmica sp. (ant) carrying its larva captured using Reflected Light and Image Stacking Techniques at five times magnification. This image received ninth place. (Geir Drange)

In some ant species, some individuals can belong to a "supersoldier" subcaste instead, and these ants fight off predatory army ant species and bar their way by blocking off the entrances to the nest using their over-sized heads. Now, scientists have managed to create supersoldiers in other species by reactivating ancestral genes.

Incredible snapshot that appears to show an insect riding off into the sunset - on a bicycle.

The Telegraphfrom The Telegraph


The world's biggest insect lives on Little Barrier Island, in New Zealand and is endangered. The "Giant Weta" is so large it can eat carrots; the size of this specimen is about average for its species. How cool is this thing???

BuzzFeedfrom BuzzFeed

The 16 Largest Insects In The World

malaysia's giant long-legged katydids are thought to be one of the largest insects in the world!

The Telegraphfrom The Telegraph


Aliens on Earth: macro photographs of insects by Igor Siwanowicz A flower praying mantis A flower praying mantis Picture: IGOR SIWANOWICZ / BARCROFT MEDIA

The Telegraphfrom The Telegraph


Close up macro photographs of tiny jumping spiders turn them into ferocious monsters

Physarum leucophaeum, A myxomycete, or slime mould fungus. The blue fruiting bodies are only 2mm tall.