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Ophiocordyceps unilateralis

Torino, 2022


From the series Decomposizione Bellica 

Ophiocordyceps unilateralis is an insect-pathogenic fungus which infects ants of the genus Camponotus leonardi, causing alteration of the behavioral patterns of the infected host.
The changes are very specific, giving rise to the popular term "zombie ants".
Infected hosts leave their canopy nests and foraging trails for the forest floor, an area with a temperature and humidity suitable for fungal growth; they then use their mandibles to attach themselves to a major vein on the underside of a leaf, where the host remains after its eventual death.

Photo credits: Egeon

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