Parasitic wasp larvae hatching from inside the living caterpillar host. The
female wasp will oviposit into the host’s body. The larvae will feed
inside the host until they are ready to pupate. Quite often the host is
dead by that point but if not, then the parasitoid will often eat its
way out of the host.



This hawk moth (most likely a Violet Gliding Hawk Moth (Ambulyx liturata, Sphingidae)) has been parasitized by an Akanthomyces fungus (probably Akanthomyces pistillariiformis), a Cordyceps anamorph peculiar to moths.

After killing the moth, the fungus then totally engulfs and embalms the corpse producing this macabre sight. (An entomopathogenic fungus is a fungus that can act as a parasite of insects and kills or seriously disables them.)

Pu’er, Yunnan, China.

by Sinobug (itchydogimages) on Flickr. See more Chinese insects and spiders on my Flickr site HERE

The Fungus That Turns Ants Into Zombies Is More Diabolical Than We Realized

Science wasn’t actually certain how fungi
like cordyceps “hijacked” their host’s behavior, and we always kind of
assumed it was causing some simplistic damage to the brain.

As it turns out, it works much more elaborately and much MORE like
the dramatized sci-fi horror parasites constantly inspired by it.

These fungi integrate themselves on the cellular level with the
host’s tissues, actually seem to send signals to the host’s muscles and
even alter the host’s genes with their own.


These fungi, all along, have been converting their hosts into
animal-fungal hybrids they control while the host’s brain and
consciousness remain helplessly alive and largely unaltered.

The Fungus That Turns Ants Into Zombies Is More Diabolical Than We Realized