Sunday, February 26, 2012

An Unfortunate Cicada

I've been reading about cicadas and entomogenous* fungi lately, which reminded me of a picture I had from back in September when I was at the field station working on my capstone project.

*This is an awesome new word I learned today-- it means growing on or in the bodies of insects.

I found this annual cicada, still in its larval stage, before it emerged as an adult, with fungus growing from it. I was thinking that the fungus itself might have killed it, but that's tough to say for sure. The cicada could have died before the fungus came along, of course.

Still, it would be interesting if it was the fungus that killed the cicada. So many fungi associate with the roots of trees, upon which cicadas feed while they're underground. Maybe some species attack the cicadas to protect the tree. Someone should investigate that.

...but not me, currently. I'm focused on capstone for now.

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