A deadly fungus gives ‘zombie’ ants a case of lockjaw

Closeups of infected ants’ jaw muscles may reveal clues to how the fungi take over

zombie ant

DEATH GRIP  Once the “zombie ant fungus” invades an ant’s jaw muscles, the insect clings with clenched jaws to a twig until, and even after, its death.  

Melissa Ishler; specimen collected by Kimberly Fleming.

This article is only available to Science News subscribers.

Subscribers, enter your e-mail address to access our archives.

Not a subscriber?

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.

More Stories from Science News on Animals

From the Nature Index

Paid Content