While we are on the subject of Green Tree Ants, here is another gruesome scenario I managed to witness in the act. This is a Tent spider (Cyrtaphora exanthematica) with a Queen Green Tree Ant in its clutches and in the process of dying. This was actually pretty heart wrenching to watch as the ant was still alive and I’m sure it looked at me a few times in desperation.
What Halloween-inspired Blog would be complete without the mention of Zombie Fungi? Last year my October Blog was all about Cordyceps Fungi (read here). Continuing on the subject of Green Tree Ants, I found this Queen who had succumbed to this entomopathogenic fungi. For those now aware of this rainforest killer, it is a fungi that animals may come into contact with its spores, thus the journey to become a zombie has begun. The spores make its way into the insects brain, causing a hostile cognitive takeover, and forcing the animal to seek a spot, usually over a thoroughfare of other potential victims, where the insect bites or clamps down before dying and then the fungi spurts out from different parts of its body.
Tent spider (Cyrtaphora exanthematica) with a Queen Green Tree Ant, Cordyceps Fungi on Queen Green Tree Ant