Zombie Ant Fungus
The Zombie Ant Fungus (Ophiocordyceps unilateralis) is an entomopathogen, or an insect-pathogenising fungus. The fungus uses its spores to infect Carpenter ants. Infected ants 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 affix themselves to a major vein on the underside of a leaf, where the ant will remain until its eventual death. The process leading to mortality takes 4–10 days, and includes a reproductive stage where fruiting bodies grow from the ant’s head, rupturing to release the fungus’s spores.