Parasitic Fungus

In the world, influenced by the entertainment industry, people talk about the possibility of a zombie apocalypse. But in the insect world, becoming a zombie is a real thing.

By definition, a zombie is a human corpse said to be revived by witchcraft or voodoo. But for insects there is no magic involved. Cordyceps fungi is a parasitic fungus that targets and kills insects. After the fungus has attached itself to an insect, it begins to slowly penetrate into the skeleton and brain. The insect effectively becomes a zombie as the infection takes over the body. As it spreads, it consumes the innards and the remaining carcass becomes its home. The corpse of the insect continues to function, but it is the fungus that is manipulating it.

Over the course of about three weeks, the fungus continues to grow and produce spores which can attach themselves to any other hapless insect, and then the process begins all over again. There are about 600 species of cordyceps that specialize in specific species of insect. The fungus will grow stem-like growths through the body of the insect and in this way, some other poor, unsuspecting insect can easily be infected by them. Symptoms of infection are not discernable for many days.

The fungus can attack ants and is able to wipe out an entire colony. But they can usually tell if one of their fellow colony members is infected, and those individual ants are booted out of the colony so that the fungus will not spread any further.

The fungus is found worldwide, but thrives best in tropical forests found in Asian countries such as China, Japan, Korea, and Thailand. What may seem like a gruesome way to kill, the fungus actually controls insect populations so that they don’t become too large.


Like the cordyceps fungus, sin took control of human nature long ago and continues to control and manipulate mankind. But if we, like the ant, boot sin out of our lives as soon as we recognize it, by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit, then we do not have to be controlled by it anymore.

Day by day His tender mercy,

Healing, helping, full and free,

Brought me lower, while I whispered,

‘Less of self, and more of Thee.’


Higher than the highest heavens,

Deeper than the deepest sea,

Lord, Thy love at last has conquered;

None of self, and all of Thee!