Zombie Ant Parasite Has Its Own Parasite--a Fungus That Attacks Fungi

Ant colonies are protected against brain-manipulating parasitic fungi by another fungusThe modus operandi of the Cordyceps fungi is the stuff of nightmares. These parasites grow inside their insect hosts by feeding off the non-vital organs, and manipulate the hosts' behaviour so that they can reproduce. When it is ready to produce spores, the fungus grows into the brain and releases chemicals that make the host climb a plant then attach itself near the top. It then kills its host by devouring its brain, before sprouting a mushroom from the top of its head, which disperse its spores as widely as possible.Cordyceps fungi can decimate entire ant colonies, but some colonies can keep an infestation at bay and survive for long periods of time. A new study now reveals how they do so. It turns out that the zombie-ant fungus is itself parasitized by another fungus, which limits its ability to reproduce and prevents it from overwhelming the colony. This microbial defence system allows the two species to stably co-exist

The zombie-ant fungus is under attack, research reveals

A parasite that fights the zombie-ant fungus has yielded some of its secrets to an international research team led by David Hughes of Penn State University. The research reveals, for the first ...

Wed 2 May 12 from Phys.org

The zombie-ant fungus is under attack, research reveals, Thu 3 May 12 from Biology News

"Zombie Ant" Fungus Under Attack--By Another Fungus

Besieged by a fungus that takes over their brains then erupts from their heads, rain forest ants have an unlikely ally--another fungus.

Fri 4 May 12 from National Geographic

Fight fungus with fungus

The zombie-ant fungus invades an ant's brain and causes it to march to its death at a mass grave - but ants have developed a way to fight back, says a Penn State researcher.

Fri 4 May 12 from Daily Mail

Ant Zombie Tale: Mind-Controlling Fungus Loses to Lethal Foe

Take that zombie-ant fungus!

Fri 4 May 12 from Livescience

Hyper-parasite defends ant colonies from zombie-ant fungus

Last year, we reported on one of the most gruesome and horrific acts that goes on in nature; it seems so unreal, like if some sort of SciFi monstrous scenario transcended into the realm of reality, ...

Fri 4 May 12 from ZME Science

Parasite helps ant colonies fight 'zombie' fungus, study finds

A fungus that infects the brains of ants, effectively turning them into zombies, is actually vulnerable to a parasite itself, according to new research.

Thu 3 May 12 from FOXNews

Zombie-ant parasitic fungus kept in check by hyperparasitic fungus

Ant colonies are protected against brain-manipulating parasitic fungi by another fungusThe modus operandi of the Cordyceps fungi is the stuff of nightmares. These parasites grow inside their ...

Thu 3 May 12 from Guardian.co.uk

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