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Ready for some solid nightmare material? Good. Meet the “Zombees.”
The Apocehalus borealis—or “zombie fly,” makes its way in the world by landing on the abdomen of its victim, sticking a hypodermic needle-style “ovipositer” into the softest spot, and depositing a number of eggs there. The eggs hatch, feed on the unsuspecting insect’s tissue, and, ultimately, turn it into a zombie.
Once the bee dies, maggots eat the carcass, turn into zombie flies, and buzz off in search of their next host. Another impending sign of the zombie apocalypse? Hard to say. Mother nature is actually chock-full of zombies and mummies, from the mummy berries blighting blueberry farmers across the Pacific Northwest over the past few years, to the creepy “parasitic wasp” known as Hymenoepimecis argyraphaga that lays eggs in the abdomen of the “spooked spider,”Plesiometa argyra. Those eggs somehow convince the spider to spin a completely aberrant kind of web that then provides a cocoon for the wasp’s larvae, which are all the while munching on the poor spider’s insides as she constructs their new living quarters.
Keep reading—if you dare.
[Photo: Christopher Quock, San Francisco State University / AP Photo]