BIOPHOTO ASSOCIATES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BIOPHOTO ASSOCIATES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
False-colour scanning electron micrograph of the predatory nematophagous fungus, Arthrobotrys oligospora, seen here with a number of captured nematode worms (the thick, ridged structures). The worms are trapped using an adhesive net which binds to their surfaces, and ensnared within raised loops formed from recurved lateral branches of the hyphae. Once the worm has been immobilised death soon follows; precipitated, it is thought, by the action of toxins secreted by the fungus. Finally the fungus pierces the worm with a haustorium, a specialised hypha, and consumes the body contents. Magnification: x110 at 35mm size.
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