SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Parasitic fungus. Fruiting bodies from a parasitic fungus of the Cordyceps sp. Three brown club-like fruiting bodies are seen emerging from the forest ground. The fungus grows from the site of a buried insect on which the fungus has been feeding. About 150 species of Cordyceps are known and most are parasitic on insects, spiders or other fungi. The spores released by the fruiting body can penetrate the skin of a host upon contact. Most hosts will die within a few days upon infection by Cordyceps. The fungus will then feed on the body of the host to form new stromata (fungal body structures) and fruiting bodies. Photographed in Ecuador.
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