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Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies

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posted on May, 12 2009 @ 05:53 PM
Wasn't sure where to put this but thought it was interesting enough .....

It sounds like something out of science fiction: zombie fire ants. But it's all too real.

Fire ants wander aimlessly away from the mound.

Eventually their heads fall off, and they die.


The tool is the tiny phorid fly, native to a region of South America where the fire ants in Texas originated. Researchers have learned that there are as many as 23 phorid species along with pathogens that attack fire ants to keep their population and movements under control.


Mod Edit: to apply external quote code, please review this link
Mod Edit: Posting work written by others, please review this link

[edit on 12-5-2009 by DontTreadOnMe]

posted on May, 12 2009 @ 06:44 PM
reply to post by onepissedoffsaint

That's kind of odd. Nothing new in the insect world though. Hope these flies don't beome invasive. I do like the idea of fewer fire ants (eventually, as it is) though!

posted on May, 12 2009 @ 06:56 PM
creepy. hope thay dont find a way to get them in us now thats a poulation deduction method i`d be afraid of.
i love ants theres so many strange things about them. this reminds me when i seen a type of mould that attacks certan ants by controling them it makes them climb as high as pos and die then the fungi grows a stalk from the head and releses spores, but the other ants can tell these something wrong and carry the in infecterd far away before the stalk grows, if thay can that is

posted on May, 12 2009 @ 06:58 PM
sounds like a horror film i never want to be in

eew ! lol i feel itchy

Nice thread tho "i love ants" but meh dont like the aspect of my brain being eatin by lil worm/fly thing!
ok i feel sick lol

posted on May, 12 2009 @ 07:35 PM
I wonder if the nursery rhyme: There was an old woman who swallowed a fly was warning against this sort of biological control.

I've never heard of it working long-term. Seems the introduced control agent always becomes an even worse pest that the organism it was used to control. Ecosystems are complex, and you never know what an introduced species will do, how it will evolve, in a new situation.

I wish the Texans well with this effort, and hope it works well, without too many unforeseen complications.

posted on May, 12 2009 @ 08:31 PM

I love when parasites zombify invertebrates. So awesome.

posted on May, 12 2009 @ 08:36 PM
Look at these ....
'7 Most Horrifying Parasites on the Planet' by

It's fascinating and definitely horrifying.

posted on May, 12 2009 @ 09:14 PM
i watched a documenrty about those ants on discorvery chanel. the flys lay their eggs inside the ant witch then grows into larvea then eats the ant from the inside druring this stage the ant experiances confusuion(if this happeend to me i would freakout)eventually the larvea works its way through the osophigus and too the brain then the head falls off leaving the maggot to crawl free and on to the next stage. tv does educate

posted on May, 12 2009 @ 09:26 PM
oh great

the web bot guys will do a run and see "zombie" and "fire" all over forums and whenever they fix thier software will come up with "well, the language points to flu
zombies and piles of burning corpses"

posted on May, 13 2009 @ 02:25 PM
bummed i can't find the wasp driving the beetle video... looked for about 30 minutes...
anyway, there's a wasp species (not the voodoo wasp) that can manipulate the host bug's movements by standing on the host's back and inserting its mandible into the host's brain to get the host to do what ever the wasp likes. really amazing to watch!

posted on May, 13 2009 @ 02:48 PM
reply to post by zooplancton

iv seen that!!

sorry for short post but ill look for it!!!

will update!

lol zombie bugs /me gets itchy again lol

posted on May, 19 2009 @ 03:44 AM

Originally posted by InThisTwilight
Look at these ....
'7 Most Horrifying Parasites on the Planet' by

It's fascinating and definitely horrifying.

I find Cymothoa Exigua to be the most disturbing of the lot in's list.

It basically attaches itself to the fish's tongue and sucks the blood out of it gradually until the tongue atrophies. Then the "thing" becomes the replacement tongue. Can't really quote since there's a number of swear words in there.

It then continues feeding on the blood and mucous membranes of the fish.

Once C. exigua replaces the tongue, some feed on the host's blood and many others feed on fish mucus. They do not eat scraps of the fish's food.[2]

Nasty little critter.


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