JUN 11, 2019 4:47 PM PDT

This Parasitic Fungus Takes Over Insects' Minds to Multiply

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Cordyceps is a genus of fungi that multiplies by spreading its spores just like other types of fungi do, but the interesting plot twist here is that Cordyceps’ spores are parasitic; they turn their insect host into a mindless zombie that will do all the fungi’s dirty work to help it reproduce.

After a single Cordyceps spore lands on a viable insect host, it floods the insect’s brain with chemicals that alter its typical behavior. The mind-controlled insect then searches for a bright and humid place to live the rest of its days, and soon enough, it dies as Cordyceps grows from its body and repeats the cycle of spreading more spores to control other insects.

Cordyceps’ gruesome nature has been known to knock out entire ant colonies, but it doesn’t stop at just ants. Other insects, including beetles, butterflies, and wasps, are also at risk of being infected; even various arthropods can be manipulated to do Cordyceps’ bidding.

Cordyceps can be found in forests all over the world, and there are more than 400 known species in the genus. Yikes!

About the Author
Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUL 23, 2022
Plants & Animals
Potassium-Rich Foods Lower Blood Pressure in Women
JUL 23, 2022
Potassium-Rich Foods Lower Blood Pressure in Women
Cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension, are increasingly common in the United States. In fact, it’s estimat ...
AUG 04, 2022
Cancer
Fiber in Green Bananas Protects from Some Cancers
AUG 04, 2022
Fiber in Green Bananas Protects from Some Cancers
Starch, a natural, sugar-containing component in many green plants, is present in high concentrations in foods such as p ...
SEP 01, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Drinking Weed Without Overdoing it
SEP 01, 2022
Drinking Weed Without Overdoing it
How many cannabis infused beverages can a person consume without going too far? Here's what to look out for.
SEP 02, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
How to harvest really good cannabis
SEP 02, 2022
How to harvest really good cannabis
What's the secret to growing a great crop of cannabis? There's several factors.
SEP 07, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
How Cannabis Can Help Ease Menopause
SEP 07, 2022
How Cannabis Can Help Ease Menopause
Can the cannabis plant help with the symptoms and duration of menopause? Here's how some say that the plant provides rel ...
SEP 22, 2022
Earth & The Environment
Scientists Demonstrate How Air Pollution Changes the Way Plants Communicate
SEP 22, 2022
Scientists Demonstrate How Air Pollution Changes the Way Plants Communicate
In a recent study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, a team of researchers from F ...
Loading Comments...