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2857 Views 2 Replies Last post: Aug 5, 2010 9:07 AM by timnicholsonroberts RSS
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Aug 2, 2010 10:29 PM

Behaviour modification of host by fungus?

I came across this fly attached to the underside of some bramble that I had just harvested for the children's stick insects. On closer inspection I found it to be unresponsive and attached to the leaf by what looks like a fungus. Certain parasites modify host behaviour to their advantage and this occurs across many insect orders, notably in the ant species Camponotus leonardi by the fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis. [Andersen SB et al. The Life of a Dead Ant: The Expression of an Adaptive Extended Phenotype. Am Nat 2009; 174: 424-433]


Has this fly been compelled to rest in the optimum position for spore dispersal just prior to death? Is this a new phenomenon?

 

Many thanks in anticipation,

 

Tim

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