Zombie Ant

Zombie Ant Bites, Facts, Habitat, Lifespan, Treatment, How to get rid of zombie ants and what do they eat etc questions are answered on this page.

Zombie Ant

Zombie Ants are discovered by the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace in 1859. These are now easily found in the tropical forest ecosystem. These ants belong to the kingdom Fungi from the family Ophiocordycipitaceae. This ant species is susceptible to the fungal infection itself that related to the order Hypocreales. The species is engaged in an active secondary metabolism.

What Are Zombie Ants

Zombie Ants are actually the victim of the entomopathogen which can act as a parasite insect to kill or seriously disable the host. Infected hosts leave their canopy nests and foraging trails in the forest to the area with a temperature and humidity which suitable for the fungal growth. The process leading to mortality takes around 4-10 days which includes a reproductive stage. In the reproduction stage, fruiting bodies grow from the ant’s head rupturing to release the fungus’s spores.What are Zombie Ants

Zombie Ant Characteristics

Scientific Name Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis
Size Up to 2 mm
Max Age NA
Venom Type NA

Zombie Ant Facts

The Ants become the Zombie Ants when the fungus attacking them which known as the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis. 

  • They have one of the deadliest ant stings.
  • They can live under the surface of the ground.
  • Zombie Ant may chase you if you mess with them.
  • They leave a chemical on the pollen that kills them.
  • These have the more than one brains.

What Do Zombie Ant Look Like

Zombie Ants have the physical characteristic similar to the other types of ants. But they don’t have control over their body. The fungus (Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis) has all control as it has more than one mind to control it. While Ant doesn’t have the much control on their body as the fungus will control the mind of the ant. And resultant the ant act weird.

Zombie Ant Bites | Zombie Ant Sting

The fungus will force the ants to climb up on the leaf to reproduce. The multiple fungal cells in the ants head detach with the muscles that open and close the ant’s mandibles. The result, the jaw locked, and unable to release the leaf, even after death. At this movement, the fungus uses a poison to kill its host.

Where Do Zombie Ant Live

The Camponotus Leonardi ants live in tropical rainforest trees infected by the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis fungus. Once it gets infected, the fungus will force it to climb up from its natural habitat and bite down on a leaf and then die. Most of the authors called this ‘Death Grip’.

What Do Zombie Ants Eat

The infection in the ant starts from falling the spore onto an ant. The spore will grows and gradually, get the control over the body of the ant. The infected and will stop doing regular tasks and after some time later leave the nest and search the place where the fungus can reproduce. After infection, the ants doesn’t require to eat anything.

Zombie Ant Lifespan

The life cycle of ants after infection can differ. The average zombie ant lifespan is 5-9 days. After that, the fungus on the ants will drive the ant to the place where it can reproduce.

Zombie Ant Bite Treatment

The Zombie Ants don’t bite a human. Actually, they don’t get the opportunity to bite humans. Their last bite on the leaf after which they lost the control on the open and closing muscles of jaw even afterward death.

How To Get Rid Of Zombie Ant

The zombie ant found in the tropical forests where you humans don’t have reach. So, you don’t need to get rid of these. The lifecycle of the zombie ant is also short. After a few time, the fungus on the ant forces the ant to search the place for reproduction.

How To Kill Zombie Ants

You actually don’t need to kill the zombie ants because it is harmless for the humans. These are found in the tropical rainforest where the human can’t easily reach. Or you can use some tea tree oil or vinegar to kill the fungus and the ant will also kill along with it.

This is all about Zombie ants which are commonly found in the tropical rainforest. If you interested to know more amazing facts about the other ants species then read this page: Ant Species

More knowledge about Insect Species