Investigation into a fungi, discovered thriving in carpenter ants seems to have uncovered a stirring understanding of its functions. Affected ants are pressured to locate and die at places suitable for the fungus to duplicate. Utilizing transmission-electron and light microscopes, experts were able to see just how the fungus develops within an infected ant. The fungus floods the ant’s entire body and head creating muscle atrophy and dividing muscle fibers. The fungus could also interrupt the ant’s neurological system inducing convulsions. This could result in the ant to drop from the trees and into the thick, black and moist leaf litter floor, perfect environment for the fungus to replicate.
In addition to this it was demonstrated that at solar noon (once the sun is at its strongest), the fungus alters the diseased ant’s behavior, compelling it to gnaw the primary vein in the bottom part of a leaf . It then detaches the muscles related to the opening and closing of the jaw leaving behind the jaw closed in position around the vein. A couple of days later , a stroma ( the fruiting body of the fungus ) develops by means of the ant’s head and spreads spores , ready to be collected by any other passing ant.