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Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies

 
dreaming reality
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05/12/2009 06:29 PM
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Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
[link to news.yahoo.com]

By Bill Hanna, Fort Worth Star-Telegram Bill Hanna, Fort Worth Star-telegram – Tue May 12, 2:09 pm ET
It sounds like something out of science fiction: zombie fire ants. But it's all too real.

Fire ants wander aimlessly away from the mound.

Eventually their heads fall off, and they die.

The strange part is that researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M's AgriLife Extension Service say making "zombies" out of fire ants is a good thing.

"It's a tool — they're not going to completely wipe out the fire ant, but it's a way to control their population," said Scott Ludwig , an integrated pest management specialist with the AgriLife Extension Service in Overton , in East Texas .

The tool is the tiny phorid fly, native to a region of South America where the fire ants in Texas originated. Researchers have learned that there are as many as 23 phorid species along with pathogens that attack fire ants to keep their population and movements under control.

So far, four phorid species have been introduced in Texas .

The flies "dive-bomb" the fire ants and lay eggs. The maggot that hatches inside the ant eats away at the brain, and the ant starts exhibiting what some might say is zombie-like behavior.

"At some point, the ant gets up and starts wandering," said Rob Plowes, a research associate at UT.

The maggot eventually migrates into the ant's head, but Plowes said he "wouldn't use the word 'control' to describe what is happening. There is no brain left in the ant, and the ant just starts wandering aimlessly. This wandering stage goes on for about two weeks."

About a month after the egg is laid, the ant's head falls off and the fly emerges ready to attack any foraging ants away from the mound and lay eggs.

Plowes said fire ants are "very aware" of these tiny flies..
"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."
— George Orwell
Anonymous Coward
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05/12/2009 06:30 PM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
All your fire zombie ants are belong to us!
Anonymous Coward
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05/12/2009 06:33 PM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
this explains what happened to one of my co-workers...
Anonymous Coward
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05/12/2009 06:38 PM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
This is hands down,The weirdest news I've heard this week.
Hero8Unltd

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05/12/2009 06:38 PM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
Soon the flys will evolve and start over taking humans and turning them into Zombies!

It'll be the Picture Box all over again!
Going to Save the World...
Seriously.

Join me! Be A Leader Of Your Destiny!
dreaming reality (OP)

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05/13/2009 12:19 AM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
This is hands down,The weirdest news I've heard this week.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 677811

thanks
"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."
— George Orwell
Anonymous Coward
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05/13/2009 12:21 AM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
That should be a skit on Green Porn
Tessa

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05/13/2009 12:22 AM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
:kittehf:
"Whether this song is about sex, drugs, or Ramen Noodles, it's moving. And you can bet your ass that you can fuck to it."
Anonymous Coward
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05/13/2009 12:24 AM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
what will the parasitic flies do to us?
dreaming reality (OP)

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05/13/2009 12:33 AM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
what will the parasitic flies do to us?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 473633

lay their eggs in us, then the larvae will eat up and into our heads until we turn into a vegetable and wonder off like a zombie of course :)
"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."
— George Orwell
^hawk-0^

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05/13/2009 12:35 AM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
I posted this hours ago.. but nobody evertakes me seriously. ONE DAY!!! (evil laugh)
Tessa

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05/13/2009 12:36 AM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
I posted this hours ago.. but nobody evertakes me seriously. ONE DAY!!! (evil laugh)
 Quoting: ^hawk-0^

sorry :( i didn't see it

i was too busy playing in the mud and panicking
"Whether this song is about sex, drugs, or Ramen Noodles, it's moving. And you can bet your ass that you can fuck to it."
dreaming reality (OP)

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05/13/2009 12:39 AM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
I posted this hours ago.. but nobody evertakes me seriously. ONE DAY!!! (evil laugh)
 Quoting: ^hawk-0^

it happens. this is like something out of the x-files. man. maybe ill go ahead and bump my when MILF attacks thread :D

I posted this hours ago.. but nobody evertakes me seriously. ONE DAY!!! (evil laugh)

sorry :( i didn't see it

i was too busy playing in the mud and panicking
 Quoting: Tessa

parasitic flies live and breed in the mud


































kidding :)
"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."
— George Orwell
Tessa

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05/13/2009 12:40 AM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
I posted this hours ago.. but nobody evertakes me seriously. ONE DAY!!! (evil laugh)

it happens. this is like something out of the x-files. man. maybe ill go ahead and bump my when MILF attacks thread :D



I posted this hours ago.. but nobody evertakes me seriously. ONE DAY!!! (evil laugh)

sorry :( i didn't see it

i was too busy playing in the mud and panicking

parasitic flies live and breed in the mud


































kidding :)
 Quoting: dreaming reality


oh you ass

chuckle
"Whether this song is about sex, drugs, or Ramen Noodles, it's moving. And you can bet your ass that you can fuck to it."
dreaming reality (OP)

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05/13/2009 12:41 AM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
fire ants cause 1 billion in damages in Texas every year. maybe we will create robotic parasitic flies :O


:zombi:
"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."
— George Orwell
Anonymous Coward
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05/13/2009 12:49 AM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
Do these flies only lay eggs on fire ants?
dreaming reality (OP)

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05/13/2009 12:51 AM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
Do these flies only lay eggs on fire ants?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 678014

i guess that is what the article implies but who knows. this shit is bananas. i guess it is all a part of the creepy insect world. just be glad you are not a part of the insect world.
"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."
— George Orwell
Anonymous Coward
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05/13/2009 12:55 AM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
Oh hell, just tear open a couple of those blue packets of artificial sweetener and drop that on the mound. You'd be surprised. Of course, your yard and garden might then become a toxic waste superfund site, but hell, at least you aren't eating that blue packet shit anymore and the ants are gone.
Anonymous Coward
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05/13/2009 01:12 AM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
a welders truck is your friend ) open the torch gas's into the mound and then 15 mins later ligh it off ) Boom no more ants. ( acetaline + O2) the torach heads the perfect size also to "vent"//

works like a charm I have used it all over south texas and oklahoma right of ways to rid jobs of the pests/
Anonymous Coward
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05/13/2009 01:32 AM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
Plowes said fire ants are "very aware" of these tiny flies..


and he's aware of this how ?
~Wet_Pain~

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05/13/2009 06:24 AM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
"The flies, which are USDA -approved, do not attack native ants or species and have been introduced in other Gulf Coast states, Plowes said. Despite initial concerns, farmers and ranchers have been willing to let researchers use their property to establish colonies. At the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association in Fort Worth in March, Plowes said they found plenty of volunteers."


USDA approved????? oh lord we're next


MAX BROOKS WHERE ARE YOUUUUUUUUUUUUU?????
I am.. therefore I think
Anonymous Coward
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05/13/2009 06:51 AM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
"The flies, which are USDA -approved, do not attack native ants or species and have been introduced in other Gulf Coast states, Plowes said. Despite initial concerns, farmers and ranchers have been willing to let researchers use their property to establish colonies. At the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association in Fort Worth in March, Plowes said they found plenty of volunteers."


USDA approved????? oh lord we're next


MAX BROOKS WHERE ARE YOUUUUUUUUUUUUU?????
 Quoting: ~Wet_Pain~


Well, I'm not real impressed with USDA approved. However, these flies seem relatively innocuous.

Here's a link with more information.
[link to www.epestsupply.com]
Anonymous Coward
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05/13/2009 08:19 AM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
I posted this hours ago.. but nobody evertakes me seriously. ONE DAY!!! (evil laugh)
 Quoting: ^hawk-0^



sorry , missed your post- oops


This can't be a good thing- here we go again messin' around with nature. Aren't we repsonsible for the spread of fire ants in the 1st place ?
Brundlefly

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05/13/2009 08:28 AM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
Whats with the Calliphoridae hate.
Annihilate Cabin Blah Man
PatrikC325

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05/13/2009 08:34 AM

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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
Around the Houston area we have a different solution. Crazy Ants they attack and kill fire ants. The only problem with the crazy ants is they like electricity!
Moe Luddite
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05/13/2009 08:39 AM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
It's insane to introduce more exotic species into America to control fire ants. Nothing from south of the border, when introduced into America does any good, we've seen this with their "humans".

Just you wait, these exotic flies probably will start making zombies out of our butterflies and bees, too. Science is mostly insane and not worth the time of day. Most scientists are terrorists of some form, who should have their arms chopped off, so as to control their reckless behavior.
Anonymous Coward
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05/13/2009 08:44 AM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
Just as it was in the days of Noah..

Mixing one species to another !
Anonymous Coward
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05/13/2009 09:53 AM
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Re: Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies
parasites attacking their brains. sounds like it's straight out of hollywood.



wait! it is! they must be goyim ants!



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