Photo: Brain-Controlling Flies to Triumph Over Alien Ants?



A female phorid fly hovers over a fire ant, waiting to inject its egg into the ant (shown in a file photo).



The egg grows and the resulting larva migrates to the ant's head. The larva lives there for weeks—slurping up the brain and turning the ant into a "zombie."



Finally the baby fly decapitates its host and hatches, exiting through the ants head, as shown in the these pictures.

In spring 2009, scientists were preparing to release a new species of phorid fly to attack invasive ants in Texas.

Photograph courtesy Sanford Porter


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