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Meadow Grasshopper under attack

Posted by Dave Kilbey on Monday 12 July 2010 at 10:08am

Grasshoppers killed by sci fi worthy fungus…....

At first I thought these were simply the shed skins of nymphs as they moulted.  However, closer examination revealed that these were completely dessicated but entire grasshoppers.  An entomologist friend of mine agrees that it is probably caused by a fungus.  He says that it’s probably in the genus Entomophthora. Amazingly, the fungus modifies the behaviour of the insect so they climb up plant stems before they die. The fungal spores can then travel further because they’re released from a greater height.

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