How invading fungus forces zombie ant's death grip

If it's thoughts of zombies that keep you awake at night, you shouldn't be worried about zombie humans; it's the carpenter ants (Camponotus castaneus) that should concern you most. When infected by a specialised fungus (Ophiocordyceps ...

Climate change forced zombie ant fungi to adapt

Zombie ants clamp on to aerial vegetation and hang for months spewing the spores of their parasitic fungi, but researchers noticed that they do not always clamp on to the same part of the plant. Now the researchers know that ...

Carpenter ants: When social instructions may be dangerous

Why do social beings sometimes put their own common sense aside to follow the lead of others, even though by doing so they could be brought to death's door? Research on carpenter ants (Camponotus mus) led by Roxana Josens ...

Getting to the bottom of the zombie ant phenomenon

(Phys.org) —While unraveling a dramatic case of mind control, biologist David Hughes is taking calls from Hollywood—and gaining new insights into the role behavior plays in spreading disease.

Zombie ants have fungus on the brain

Tropical carpenter ants (Camponotus leonardi) live high up in the rainforest canopy. When infected by a parasitic fungus (Ophiocordyceps unilateralis) the behaviour of the ants is dramatically changed. They become erratic ...

Ant colonies share disease resistance

(PhysOrg.com) -- A Northeastern University biology professor and her team of student researchers have discovered that the social feeding habits of carpenter ants reduce disease transmission and widespread infection within ...

Parasite causes zombie ants to die in an ideal spot

A study in the September issue of The American Naturalist describes new details about a fungal parasite that coerces ants into dying in just the right spot -- one that is ideal for the fungus to grow and reproduce. The study, ...