Ants Fight with fungus Ophiocordyceps
As per a new research, which has been published in the journal PLoS ONE, it has been revealed that ants try a lot to remain safe from fungus Ophiocordyceps, which turns swells the head of ants. The pain that ants witness is unbearable, said lead researcher David Hughes of Penn State.
The fungus enters the brain and does not stop spreading till ant dies. The fungus is usually found on leaves on which ants’ rear. Ants are aware of the fungus and this is the reason that they defend their colonies by efficiently grooming each other.
David said that though there is a mechanism available in ants, which helps in restricting the spread of ants, it can help to such an extent that it can protect from not turning into zombies. The study was conducted on Camponotus rufipes, which are found in the rain forests of Brazil as well as on carpenter ants that are found in Thailand.
"Even though there are a lot of dead and infected zombie ants in the neighborhood, only a few of the spores of the zombie-ant fungus will become mature”, said David. He further affirmed that he would be conducting a further research to know more about the disease.