parasitic fungi

Cordyceps fungi is a common ingredient in Chinese herbal medicines. In general, mushrooms wouldn’t seem like an obscure ingredient, however, this particular mushroom grows from the bodies of insects. If a spore lands on an insect, it can infect it. The fungus then grows within the body, using the internal organs as a food source. Eventually, the fungus rips out of the insect, distributing more spores.

askbatsysue  asked:

What does Flugs face look like in the Parasite au? I really like your art style BTW!

AW thank you dear boo! SO. Under the paperbag; 

There’s different types of parasite and bacteria out in this au, and the common is the fungi kind that attacks the head first for the brain. Flug believed back then that they entered through the eyes, nose, and mouth, so he wore his goggles to stop them. But upon infection and infestation his goggles became infused with his skin. He tried to cut them off, and he managed to cut the straps off, but the goggles are stuck to his face now.

Monotropa uniflora

Ghost Plant, Indian Pipe, Corpse Plant

I love Monotropa uniflora. Why? Because it doesn’t fit in. While classified as a type of flowering plant, it displays mico-heterotrophy, in which a plant gets all of its energy through parasitism of a fungi. As you can obviously tell, it has no chlorophyll. It commonly grows among the roots of beech trees.


Zombie Fungus!

Ophiocordyceps unilateralis is a fungus that preys on many types of insect.

It manipulates the host’s behavior to climb to a high place where the fungus spores can sift down to infect new hosts. The stalks you see emerging from the insects are parts of the fungus.

An ant infected with this fungus can wipe out its entire colony.  If the other ants know that one of them is infected they will carry the infected individual far away so it can’t explode on the colony.


In my new video I answered the question asked by @sporesmore about mycorrhizal cheaters, and I explained how they exploit the relationship between plants and fungi. Two things that did not occur to me until it was too late: mycorrhiza specifically refers to the symbiotic relationship (the fungus involved would be referred to as mycorrhizal fungi), and the plural of mycorrhiza is mycorrhizae.

Hope you enjoy!

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.

Aborted Honey Fungus, A Delicious Parasite

I’ve previously documented about the population of honey mushrooms in the backyard mushroom garden. Several years ago I had transplanted a Musclewood tree (Carpinus caroliniana) to the area and now wonder if I had unwittingly moved a parasitic fungus along with it. For the first few years there would be a single, misshapen, ugly white fungal growth near the base of this tree that would emerge in Fall. It was unmistakable, as it was an Aborting Entoloma fungus, Entoloma abortivum infecting a honey mushroom, Armillaria gallica which are common in my garden. The Arborting Entolomas are well known for their preference for infesting honey mushroom (Armillaria) species, its mycelium often creating these strange growths that never fully develop into a typical honey mushroom shape. This year, the Entoloma has invaded the Honey mushroom areas. The normal forms of the Entolomas are now mixed side by side with the aborted, infested Honeys in my mushroom heap of old wood debris, confirming that is indeed E. abortivum infecting the Honeys.

This fungus renders the Honeys into a very tasty edible mushroom; woodsy, earthy, and full of mushroom flavor. Much more preferable to the un-infested honeys which were just merely OK. I love the stories behind parasitic fungi and like the well known Lobster mushroom, it can create a fine, wild edible.

For more on Honey Mushrooms:

Land of Scales: Forest Tyrant (Varanus Tyrannus)

“Moving further into the island, one finds the area to be dominated by thick forest with ancient trees smothered in parasitic vines and fungi, crawling with strange life. It is easy to be encapsulated by the wonders of the little things, but eyes are always watching, hungry ones.

Keep reading

lord--megatron  asked:

What kinds of enrichment, as far as toys and activities go, should I be looking into for pigeons?

Pidge are very ineractive birds!

Like doves, they enjoy the holy trinity of stick-shaped, jingly, and shiny.

Male pigeons like to bring their favorite sticks to arrange. Hens like to be given sticks yo arrange.

(Remember to bake all sticks gathered from outside at 350 degrees for 10 minutes to kill parasites, fungi, and bacteria)

They like things they can pick up or blow around with their wings. Wicker balls for cats with jingle bells tend to satisfy all three.

So do bread ties with jingle bells on the end.

Pigeons aren’t really mechanical puzzle solvers like corvids or psitticines, but forage toys that spill seeds can be fun and enriching!

Easter is comming! So plastic eggs will be abundant soon. You can catefully melt small holes in them and fill them with seeds.

Pigeons can be harness trained! Going outside is great entichment, but be aware of wild birds and potential for contamination.

Find stores that will allow a well behaved pet and bring your baby with you, if you can.

Verbal training by association will happen during your interactions, but you can speed it along by talking to your bird and associating words with objects, then places, and then actions.

As you learn to interperet its moods, you can also connect those to words and ask it in very simple terms how it feels about things.

They may not be able to mimic speech, but the amazing thing about pigeons is how well they can come to understand language!

So take advantage of that when training!

honestly if you’re creating a sci-fi anything and you need alien inspiration just google some fungi or parasitic insects or deep sea anything

there may be stranger things in this galaxy than cedar-apple rust, but not MANY stranger things, imo


Cordyceps, the Killer Fungi.

Spores from the parasitic fungi called the cordyceps infects an insects brain and directs the insect upwards towards the forest canopy where it latches onto a plant to eventually die. 

After growing for about 3 weeks within the dead insect, the cordyceps unleashes spores into the forest, infecting other insects within the immediate area. There are thousands of different types of cordyceps fungi and each specialise in just one type of insect species. 

anonymous asked:

Sorry mate, but the bee industry can be defended. Without bees as pollinators we would face dramatic food shortages. Bee farms provide a place for the bees to live, flowers for them to pollinate, medical care and attention for the protection of the hive, food for harsh winters and protection from the environment and natural predators. Bees make far too much honey for them to consume, and excess of honey in the hive attracts mites and disease, if we didn't take the honey they would literally die.

You are totally right- bees are powerful pollinators, probably one of the best on earth. The only problem is the western honey bee (Apis mellifera), which is the one invasive honey bee that has been commercialized to produce large amounts of honey, is not as good as native bees at pollinating, especially in the case of fruits and vegetables.    

For example, native bees do 90% of pollination in watermelons, improve fruit production in apples, create twice as much fruit than honey bees in blueberries, and significantly increase fruit production in tomatoes (honeybees aren’t even big enough to pollinate tomatoes.)

Not to mention, Apis mellifera is only one of 20,000 different species of bees. Some species don’t produce honey, some don’t have wings, some are all colors of the rainbow. Only the ones that produce honey are mass bred and spread around the world as an invasive species.

You are also right in saying that beekeepers medicate their bees, but it’s because the mass breeding of the commercialized Apis mellifera is leading to large amounts of parasites, pathogens, fungi, mites, and disease in the managed honeybee hives. Beekeepers medicate bees for the diseases they cause.

Another reason for the growing number of diseases in bee colonies may be because when honey bees’ honey is taken from them, it is replaced with honey substitutes, like high fructose corn syrup, which has an absence of the chemicals in honey. This weakens the bees’ immune systems (detoxification enzymes) which rid their bodies of foreign chemicals (pesticides and pathogens). 

Studies have shown that these parasites, mites, fungi, diseases, and pathogens are spreading to native colonies which may be one of the major reasons for decline in native bumble bee population, you know, the other 19,999 species of bees that are or becoming endangered. 

During winter, different species have different ways of coping with cold. Some hibernate and in some colonies only the queen survives. But some, like the honey bee Apis mellifera, make what is known as a “winter cluster” naturally. This just means that they form a ball of bees (between basketball and softball size). Mellifera is one of the few species that survives as a colony, not as a queen, and they do it without human aid because they produce extra honey for the winter. Hibernating honey bees can consume up to 30 pounds of stored honey during winter months, which may seem like extra to some beekeepers, but not to the honeybees.

When a hive produces more honey than needed, the bees don’t die. It gives them a larger buffer of food stores in case the winter was longer or colder than usual. If there is still extra, the honey bees could “jumpstart” their colony in the spring to build up the number of bees and maybe even split the colony.

Even if bees don’t immediately consume the honey, they will still use it because honey does not expire. 

If you want to help native pollinators, you can start a bee garden by planting some flowers that bees like in your area. Personally, I find that bees really like lavender.

 Some links I would check out: 

do-what-i-want-when-i-wanna  asked:

In the parsite au,does it hurt to be infected like that? What do the parsite do to the brain? Can the parsite get worse?Are they just forever like this or will the parsite eventually kill them? I'm gonna guess the parsite react differently to different people. So was Flug near some mushrooms when the parsite got to him or is it just like that? How is little Dem not effected? How does the parsite travel? Food? Water? I am deeply interested the scientific nature of the parsite!Sorry for all the?'s

(I wrote the entire answer but accidentally clicked out and imma write it all again lord kill me it was such a long answer ahem)

There’s 3 different types of parasites: Fungi, Insect, Bacteria.
Fungi feels like tumors growing on your skin but no pain - just uncomfortable and tiring. Insect feels like bugs crawling under your skin and in your body. Bacteria is - imagine back to when you had your fever. Yup.

the parasite’s natural goal is to take over their host’s body and take total numb control. It is unknown if the host dies at that point or continues to live inside their own heads, screaming to be let out.

Flug’s infection was through consumption. Fungi spores travel through air and it landed in his goddamn big mac. He wasn’t even aware he was infected by the time he wore his goggles.

Demmy is heavily protected by Flug as he has ensured the entire small island they take refuge in is anti-parasite. It is unknown therefore if she is actually immune to the parasites.

All of them travel by air or on the backs of pests and people - fungi and insect however cannot travel through large bodies of water unlike bacteria.

Its oki! I like to talk about the scientific parts of the au too XD