DAA Daily

‘Zombie fungus’ caught on camera

Charlotte Eykerman Staff Reporter The Pawprint


On the 9th September, Frank Deschandol caught a magnificent shot of an infected beetle on camera. The beetle had grew some strange pair of antennas that Mr. Deshandol thought made the beetle look “bizarre… and utterly beautiful at the same time.” 

The first time we saw an infected insect was in 1859, in the tropical forest ecosystem.


FRANK DESCHANDOL/WPY2019

The ‘zombie fungus’ works like a parasitism, it is when one organism, the parasite, lives off of another organism, the host. Causing the host to near death. For the infected beetle, the fungus took chemical control of the beetles body and compelled it to climb. When the beetle had reached a high enough point, the fungus would compel the beetle to lock down and die. Later the ‘antennas’ would start growing with fruit bodies and those capsules would eventually burst and find a new host to possess.

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