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Cordyceps Moth | by antonsrkn
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Cordyceps Moth

Moth and Cordyceps fungus - Danum Valley, Malaysia

 

Its always fascinating to see a cordyceps fungus and its unfortunate host, such as this moth which succumbed to the parasitic fungi. There are approximately 400 species of Cordyceps fungi and all of them are parasitic, the majority of these are parasites of insects and other arthropods. Some of the cordyceps fungi are actually known to modify their hosts behavior before killing them, in atleast some species the fungi will cause the host to move to a higher location in order that its spores will be better dispersed. Many of the fungi are host specific as well, here is a link to another image of mine of a cordyceps affected wasp also from Malaysia.

www.flickr.com/photos/26500525@N08/16112584466/inset-7215...

 

And a really crazy example of a hawkmoth and cordyceps from the other side of the world in Panama! www.flickr.com/photos/26500525@N08/6184318962/in/set-7215...

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Taken on August 13, 2014