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colealpaugh
05-13-2009, 02:14 AM
The latest big trend gets further affirmation as the animal kingdom weasels in on the action:
From the AP: Parasitic Flies Turn Fire Ants into Zombies

The flies "dive-bomb" the fire ants and lay eggs. The maggot that hatches inside the ant eats away at the brain, and the ant starts exhibiting what some might say is zombie-like behavior. "At some point, the ant gets up and starts wandering," said Rob Plowes, a research associate at UT.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20090512/sc_mcclatchy/3231765

bsolah
05-13-2009, 04:37 AM
...wow that is so totally cool.

Tepelus
05-13-2009, 04:51 AM
I hate maggots.

Izz
05-13-2009, 05:26 AM
That gives me more story ideas that you can shake a zombie-stick at.

seun
05-13-2009, 04:23 PM
Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnn nnnssssssssssssss.

Namatu
05-13-2009, 04:48 PM
Yech. Somebody stop those flies before they morph and start attacking humans!

MissKris
05-13-2009, 04:58 PM
Eww. Not good first o' the mornin' reading.

Nivarion
05-13-2009, 06:18 PM
I live in texas and I'm excited about that. I hate fire ants, I'm allergic to them suckers and they like to swarm the unexpecting. they just walk around in big swarms on the ground and march up the leg of any one that steps NEAR them.

good god i hate getting epipins

Phaeal
05-13-2009, 06:33 PM
I've been using parasitic wasps for years to control garden pests. You can buy such wasps and flies through the mail. You can also encourage native zombie-makers and the introduced ones by cultivating the small-flowered herbs adults prefer.

Everybody loves that word "zombie." But I'm a purist -- if the ants weren't dead before they started wandering, they're not zombies. Zombies have to have been dead first, then undead. Dead, dead, dead, I tell you!!!

However, fire ants do suck. I used to get attacked by them when I lived in Florida. I'd take revenge by finding a very long stick and stirring up their mounds, then running. Fast. Here in Rhode Island I have pet ants who run aphid farms in the garden. They don't sting or bite, well, unless you bother their "cows". That's all I ask of ants.

BravoYankee
05-13-2009, 08:57 PM
The end is nigh!

Sweetleaf
05-13-2009, 10:42 PM
I think they both sound awful. We don't have fire ants, but what I've heard freaks me out.

Captain Scarf
05-14-2009, 07:02 AM
On a similar note: There are certain types of ants whose sole purpose in life is to protect the nest by exploding in the path of attackers and getting them caught in the goo.

Wayne K
05-14-2009, 07:08 AM
On a similar note: There are certain types of ants whose sole purpose in life is to protect the nest by exploding in the path of attackers and getting them caught in the goo.

Suicide bomber ants?

Captain Scarf
05-14-2009, 07:19 AM
Indeed.

In fact I was wrong when I said ants, I should have said soldier termites. Have a look at this section I lifted off wikipedia:

"The specialization of the soldier caste is principally a defence against predation by ants. The wide range of jaw types and phragmotic heads provides methods which effectively block narrow termite tunnels against ant entry. A tunnel-blocking soldier can rebuff attacks from many ants. Usually more soldiers stand by behind the initial soldier so once the first one falls another soldier will take the place. In cases where the intrusion is coming from a breach that is larger than the soldier's head, defence requires special formations where soldiers form a phalanx-like formation around the breach and blindly bite at intruders or shoot toxic glue from the nasus. This formation involves self-sacrifice because once the workers have repaired the breach during fighting, no return is provided, thus leading to the death of all defenders. Another form of self-sacrifice is performed by South-East Asian tar-baby termites (Globitermes sulphureus). The soldiers of this species commit suicide by autothysis - rupturing a large gland just beneath the surface of their cuticle. The thick yellow fluid in the gland becomes very sticky on contact with the air, entangling ants or other insects who are trying to invade the nest."