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Cordyceps militaris

Posted by
Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 20 December 2012 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

Cordyceps militaris (NL: Rupsendoder / EN: Scarlet Caterpillar Club / DE: Puppen-Kernkeule / FR: Cordyceps militaire) The genus Cordyceps consists of clublike parasites that attack underground puffballs or insects. The puffball-parasitizing species are cool enough, but the bug parasites are astounding. They erupt from insects, bringing to mind the infamous scene in Alien in which John Hurt has a very bad meal. Cordyceps militaris is the best-known and most frequently collected bug-killing Cordyceps. The victim for Cordyceps militaris is a pupa or larva (usually of a butterfly or moth). Its mycelium colonizes the living insect and mummifies it, keeping it alive just long enough to generate the biomass it needs to produce the mushroom--a "spore factory" that allows the Cordyceps to reproduce. The fruit body grows up to 7cm high, is cylindrical or club-shaped and has a bright orange-red color. The slightly swollen fertile head has a finely roughened surface and tapers into a smooth, paler, wavy stem.

Image: Schoten (BE) – 19/10/2012

Canon EOS 400D 3/10 second F/4.5 ISO 100 150 mm

© Johan Dierckx

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All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.

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Soheil from Tehran, Iran

nice macro

20 Dec 2012 7:47am

Basile Pesso from Paris, France

Excellent.

20 Dec 2012 12:14pm

omid from mashhad, Iran

very nice & wonderful!

22 Dec 2012 6:14pm

Canon EOS 400D
3/10 second
F/4.5
ISO 100
150 mm

fungi
ascomycota
sordariomycetes
hypocreales
cordycipitaceae
cordyceps
be