Question of the Week: Entomopathogenic Fungi

Last week the question was:  Why did this grasshopper climb to the top of this plant just before he died?

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This grasshopper has fallen victim to an entomopathogenic fungus.  There are several species of such fungi that in infect insect hosts and kill them as the fungus colonizes the insects body.  This particular fungus causes a behavioral response that makes the grasshopper climb to an elevated position before dying.  This helps the fungus disperse spores more efficiently and infect more insects.

 

Here is this  week’s question:  What is this weed?

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