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A new parasitic fungus that kills spiders has been discovered

A new parasitic fungus that kills spiders has been discovered

What is nearly dead, has eight hairy legs, many eyes, and springs from its hole to devour poor, unwise prey? This might make you think of the beginning of a dark horror story that little ants tell in the evening to scare each other. However, aren’t we saying that fantasy catches up with reality? Unless the other way around.

The world of small animals is certainly inhabited by very strange creatures. You’ve probably already heard of those ants “zombified” by a horrible parasitic fungus, or of these burrowing spiders, predators that hurl themselves at their prey from a burrow camouflaged with a kind of silk trapdoor. and debris. Mix the two and you have what appears to be a new species of parasitic fungus nearby Ophiocordyceps The game and the series became famous The last of us.

This was highlighted by scientists who were working to identify the remaining biodiversity in the northern Rio de Janeiro jungle, one of the most threatened ecosystems on Earth. Several arachnid fungi and parasitic insects caught their attention, and although more analysis is needed before these species can be officially declared, they are unknown to the mycologists who made up the team. One species, a close relative of those that create “zombie” ants, is described as ” Really beautiful By the mycologist João Araújo of the New York Botanical Garden who discovered it, it attacks spiders taken from the trapdoor but there is no indication at the moment that it controls the movements of the infected spider before killing it.

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