Monday, July 20, 2009
The Return of the Zombie Ant
• A Phorid fly injects their egg into a fire ant
• The phorid larvae then feasts on the brain of the ant, turning the ant into a zombie
• The baby fly decapitates its host and exits through the ants head
• In some cases the zombie fire ants will start to attack their own kind
Phorid flies in South America have a bizarre and rather cold-hearted way of reproducing. First they need to find a target, a nonchalant fire ant; they will then hover over it and inject their victim with their egg, using their needle-like appendage.
After the eggs hatch, the larvae moves to the head of the ant, feasting on it’s brain for weeks, turning the fire ant into a zombie, making it the perfect plot for a horror movie. However the movie is still not at it’s end; finally the baby fly decapitates its host and exits through the ants head. In some cases the zombie fire ants will start to attack their own kind, just as any zombie will do. Feeding ants roaming outside is more vulnerable to attack than those taking shelter in hidden nests.