Ophiocordyceps: Fungal Puppet Masters

Ant killed by Ophiocordyceps fungus. Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area, Orange County, Florida, USA. Photo by Katja Schulz/Flickr/Creative Commons

The fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis is the Mona Lisa of mind control parasites. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss the latest findings on its insidious ant-hijacking antics -- as well as a few other favorite biological puppet masters.

Related Content:

Weird Mushrooms!(podcasts)

Monster of the Week: The Mushrooms of Matango

Monster Science: Fear the Shambling Mushroom

How to Care for Six Horrifying Parasites

Outside Content:

Ed Yong: Zombie roaches and other parasite tales (TED Talk)

How the Zombie Fungus Takes Over Ants’ Bodies to Control Their Minds

Topics in this Podcast: parasites, biology, ants