New Fungi Turn Flies Into Parasite-Spewing Zombies

Two new species of fungi have been discovered that devour flies from the inside and cause them to release spores from holes in their abdomens

    2020/12/24

NSFW    COPENHAGEN — Two new species of fungi have been discovered in Denmark that turn flies into zombies and eat them from the inside out, according to researchers from the Natural History Museum of Denmark and the University of Copenhagen's Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences

The new species, Strongwellsea tigrinae and Strongwellsea acerosa, infect two types of Danish fly, Coenosia tigrina and Coenosia testacea.

Research published in the Journal of Invertebrate Pathology describes how spores from the fungus burrow their way into the fly's abdomen, where they bore holes from which thousands of torpedo-shaped spores burst to infect other flies.

The researchers suspect the two fungi may produce amphetamine-like substances that keep their hosts alive and energized until there is nothing left in the fly's abdomen but fungus. These amphetamine-like chemicals may also keep other microorganisms away from the flies' wounds.
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