'Zombie' fungus causes males to fly to mate with female corpses.
New research out of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark reveals some interesting, albeit disgusting, facts about a fungus that affects common houseflies. The fungus is called Entomophthora muscle, and it survives by causing male flies to perform necrophilia with infected female corpses. First, the fungus infects the female fly with deadly spores that consume the fly from within slowly over roughly six days. Second, after the fungus has completely taken over the female fly, it changes the females' behavior causing the flies to reach the highest point they can get, whether on top of vegetation or a wall. Then, the fly dies. When the fungus kills the female, it releases chemical signals that bewitch male flies and cause an incredible urge for them to mate with lifeless female carcasses, infecting themselves. (TND)
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