13 Fascinating Photographs Of Cordyceps And The Killer Fungus’ Insect Hosts

Published November 21, 2014
Updated October 29, 2019

Cordyceps, or "Zombie Fungus", are a parasitic fungus that thrive in humid climates where they reproduce by infecting the brains of insects.

Cordyceps — or “Zombie Fungus” — are a parasitic fungus that thrive in hot, humid climates like tropical forests. There are thousands of different types of cordyceps and each targets a specific species of insect to infect.

Spores from this killer fungus infect the insect’s brain, and, later, the fruiting body of the cordyceps will erupt from that insect’s head and body. When it’s finished growing, cordycep spores burst from the fungus and infect any insect of the same species unlucky enough to be nearby.

Photos Of Cordyceps

Killer Fungus Cordyceps
Source: FOS

Source: Jenn Sinasac

Caterpillar Killed By Zombie Fungus
Source: Wildeep

Scale Insect Infected By Fungus
Source: Cordyceps

Caterpillar Infected By Cordyceps
Source: Kotaku

Killer Fungus Cordyceps Moth
Source: Bent Media

Cordyceps On A Spider
Source: Miltonious

Cordyceps The Zombie Fungus
Source: Youtube

Cordyceps Pictures
Source: ZOL

Killer Fungus
Source: Miltonious

Killer Fungus Cordyceps

Zombie Fungus Photographs
Source: Sino Bug

While these killer fungi sound like they're straight out of a horror movie, they do have an overall positive impact on their environment because they keep insect populations from growing out of control. Plus, they have no effect on humans, so don't worry:

All That's Interesting
All That's Interesting is a Brooklyn-based digital publisher that seeks out stories that illuminate the past, present, and future.