‘Zombie fungus’ bursts out of a dead fly in contest-winning photo

‘Zombie fungus’ bursts out of a dead fly in contest-winning photo

2022-08-19 0 Por ljxih



On a leaf in the Peruvian Amazon, a fly’s exoskeleton bursts open. Seven fungal stems emerge, flaring outward in a twisted bouquet. The fungus already took control of the fly’s mind and body — now, it’s time to find a new victim.

This grim scene, which captures the simultaneous death of a fly and life of a so-called «zombie» fungus that preys upon insects, is the grand prize winner in this year’s BMC Ecology and Evolution Image Competition — the second annual photo contest hosted by the scientific journal BMC Ecology and Evolution. Roberto García-Roa, an evolutionary biologist and conservation photographer with the University of Valencia in Spain, snapped the winning image while undertaking research in the Tambopata National Reserve in southeastern Peru.



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