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Zombie Ants

zombie ants

zombie ants

Zombie Ants

Having something inside you, controlling your every move sounds purely science fiction. Recent science has found that this survival strategy maybe more common than we think. Consider the two creepy and almost unbelievable types of zombie pests.

Fungus Zombie Ants

There are many species of cordyceps fungi (the species of fungus that turns insects into zombies) each one specializing on only one species to prey on. The most popular and widely known of its prey is called the Zombie ant. Tropical carpenter ants are most likely to be infected and become a zombie. When the ant is foraging for food it can easily step brush up against the fungus. Once the fungus takes control of the ant the ant starts acting in strange ways. The behavior of the ant now favors the fungus’ wellbeing instead of its own. The ant will try to find the best area for the fungus to thrive. Fungus starts to spread as other ants brush by the infected ant.  If the colony is aware that there is an infected ant in the colony, it will kill him and take him as far away from the colony as possible. If the Zombie ants in the colony go undetected, they will make their way into the heart of the colony and at high noon, when the sun is at the top of the sky, the spore will come out of the ants head and explode sending fungus spores all over the other ants.

Parasitic Worm Zombie Ants

Finding a fungus zombie ant in your backyard is hard. Finding a parasitic worm zombie ant might be easier than you might think. These types of zombie ants have been found in almost every US state. When an ant consumes the slime from a passing snale with eggs in the slime called the liver fluke worm. Once the ant colony is infected the liver fluke can turn zombie ants on and off. The liver fluke doesn’t care what digests it as long as it has a healthy liver. When the parasite senses that a cow or a rabbit is near it make the ants hang off blades of grass and flowers increasing the opportunity for the liver fluke to be digested and hatch more eggs.

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