A worm that invades its host's belly to make it look more edible proves an unusual parasite
By Matt RansfordPosted 04.24.2008 at 12:34 pm 8 Comments
Cephalotes Atratus Ant
As the worms lay their eggs inside the ant, it's gaster is stretched until it resembles a berry that's attractive to birds.
Stephen P. Yanoviak
Parasites are well known to have evolved an exceptional array of strategies for perpetuating themselves. A microscopic tropical nematode worm which lives in the gasters of ants in Panama is one of the more impressive. Researchers at the University of Arkansas have recently illuminated its method, which manages to make the ant appear to be a fruit so that it will be eaten by birds.