Parasitic fungus that infects and kills spiders discovered in Brazil

Exclusive: rare purple organism preys on trapdoor spider in behaviour reminiscent of its ‘zombie’ relatives that feature in apocalyptic TV show The Last of Us

Scientists believe they have discovered a new parasitic fungus which preys on trapdoor spiders in Brazil’s Atlantic rainforest.

The rare organism, which is purple, belongs to a group of fungi that infect invertebrates and take over the host. A closeup image shows the fungus wrapped around the body of a trapdoor spider, poking out of the burrow from which the arachnid grabs insects.

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