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A macabre fungus from NZ

A macabre fungus from NZ
Photo Information
Copyright: Neil Rawlins (Antipodean) Silver Note Writer [C: 2 W: 0 N: 19] (150)
Genre: Fungi
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-02
Categories: Fungi
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Felidae of the world: First series [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2012-12-22 17:23
Viewed: 2996
Points: 0
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
While New Zealand has no nasty mammals, birds, reptiles or insects, there are two or three fungi which can be particularly lethal to certain insects. This one is commonly known as the vegetable cicada - Cordyceps sinclarii. In its nymph form the cicada lives undergrown feeding on the roots of plants. It this form it can be penetrated by the hyphae of this fungus which feeds on the tissues of the cicada nymph, killing it. The fungi then send a branching white stalk to the surface bearing its spores. At certain times of the year, if you are walking in the rainforest you can see these small podwery puffs. If you dig down you can unearth the whole macabre scene. I found this in the rainforest at Punakaiki on number of years ago & took it back to my bus to photograph it. Textured background is the matting on the bus. Photo is probably not the best, but you can see the remains of the cicada nymph - I wanted to use the photo as an illustration for my tours.
Photograph was on Fujichrome slide film, using Nikon f-401 with 35-70mm lens. Scanned & digitised from slide.

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