27 September 2011

The horror of Cordyceps

Last year I wrote a post about Cordyceps (including a video narrated by David Attenborough).  The fungus fascinates me.
This Carolina leaf-roller (Camptonotus carolinensis) has succumbed to an infection by a species of Cordyceps, a genus of entomopathogenic fungi. Cordyceps are well-known for inducing changes in insect behaviour, making them climb plants before they die. When the fruiting bodies burst forth from the insect, this high position helps spread the fungal spores to new victims.
Photo by myriorama, via Electric Orchids and Titam et le Sirop d'Erable.

1 comment:

  1. This fungus terrified me the first time I learned about it. I still get a nervous tic when I see pictures of it...

    I have a very lively imagination...


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