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Fatal Fungus

March 2011

What happened to this wasp?

Answer

There are a range of fungi that colonise the bodies of living insects and then consume them from within. The thread-like structures are the fruiting bodies of the fungus. Although we do not have the expertise to identify the particular fungus that turned your wasp into a 'mushroom’, we are familiar with the phenomenon. Some insect-consuming fungi are proving useful as biocontrol agents and one genus, Cordyceps contains members that are harvested for use in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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