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Thankfully this brain eating parasite doesn’t infect humans

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brain eating parasite
Thankfully this brain eating parasite doesn’t infect humans
Phorid Fly-researchmagazine.uga.edu
image source – uga

This brain eating parasite is known as Phorid flies. Phorid flies are small species of hump-backed flies. This species of flies have a unique life cycle as these fly turns ants into zombies. The Phorid fly evolves from eggs into larva and to adults. The larva turns ants into zombies.

fire ants -phrynus.wordpress.com
image source – phrynus

Phorid flies are one of the world’s smallest species of fly as they infect ants, bees and wasps. Around 4000 species of Phorid flies are known.

The larvae of these flies is a parasite to its host the fire ants. The fly lays eggs on thorax of the ant the when the egg hatches the larva of the fly travels to the head of the ant and slowly feeds on ant’s brain. This stage of brain eating lasts for two weeks during this period the ant acts like a zombie it doesn’t do anything but roam aimlessly.

Phorid Fly-thehigherlearning.com
image source – thehigherlearning

After two to four weeks. The parasite secretes a chemical which dissolved the tissue which attaches ant’s head to its body and eventually the head of ant falls off. The parasite takes two more weeks to evolve from ant’s head. The new flies come out from the decapitated head of the ant and the cycle continues.

Phorid flies can destroy colonies of bees. The infected bees leave their colonies and roam randomly near lights and eventually die and similarly the fly comes out from neck of the bees.

Phorid flies represent a new way by which fire ants population can be controlled.

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