Category Archives: parasites

Recent data on how the “ant zombie” fungus works

When I first read the publicity about this recent (2017) paper in Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., I thought that the authors had come up with a new solution to how the fungus Ophiocoryceps unilateralis, a parasite on carpenter ants, turns the ant into a zombie, behaving in a way that facilitates the dispersal of the […]

Reader’s wildlife photos

Today’s photos are from regular contributor Tony Eales, who hails from Brisbane. Here we see nature red in, well, spores and mycelia—pathogenic killer fungi.  Tony’s notes are indented: I’ve had a few interesting sightings of late and none more so than the entomopathogenic [insect and arachnid-killing] fungi I’ve found on insects and spiders. The first […]

The astounding way a fungus controls the behavior of “zombie ants”

You’ve probably heard about “zombie ants”: ants that become zombie-like when infected by a certain parasitic fungus. Like many parasites, some fungi can control the behavior of their hosts, and they do this to increase their own fitness, affecting the host’s morphology and behavior to make it more likely that the parasite will pass its […]

Poor Nemo!

by Matthew Cobb Here’s a gorgeous photo of clownfish, which just won the photographer, Qin Ling of Canada, an award in the Behaviour category at the Underwater Photographer of the Year competition (click to enlarge) – you can see all the winners here. Ling’s photo is entitled ‘Your home and my home’. Look closely at […]