Parasitic flies turn fire ants into zombies

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    May 14, 2009 6:27 PM GMT
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20090512/sc_mcclatchy/3231765It 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.



    Growing up in Vietnam, I got bitten by fire ants many times. They love biting your penis for some reason. The foreskin will swell like a balloon if they bite there.


  • Timbales

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    May 14, 2009 6:48 PM GMT
    magus_iii said
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20090512/sc_mcclatchy/3231765They love biting your penis for some reason. The foreskin will swell like a balloon if they bite there.




    icon_eek.gif good to know
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    May 14, 2009 6:50 PM GMT
    I will have you know that this zombie doesn't bite the penis... unless you have been naughty.
  • Timbales

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    May 14, 2009 6:51 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie saidI will have you know that this zombie doesn't bite the penis... unless you have been naughty.


    do you lightly draw your bottom teeth along the underside?
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    May 14, 2009 8:37 PM GMT
    Timberoo said
    MunchingZombie saidI will have you know that this zombie doesn't bite the penis... unless you have been naughty.


    do you lightly draw your bottom teeth along the underside?


    A mouth is made for blow jobs and a mouth has teeth, so yes, I use my chompers. I just don't chomp too hard.
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    May 14, 2009 9:22 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie said
    Timberoo said
    MunchingZombie saidI will have you know that this zombie doesn't bite the penis... unless you have been naughty.


    do you lightly draw your bottom teeth along the underside?


    A mouth is made for blow jobs and a mouth has teeth, so yes, I use my chompers. I just don't chomp too hard.
    icon_eek.gificon_twisted.gificon_redface.gificon_wink.gif *runs away*
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    May 14, 2009 10:48 PM GMT
    actually it sounds like the flies already got Rush Limbaugh...

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    May 16, 2009 1:40 PM GMT
    Timberoo said
    magus_iii said
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20090512/sc_mcclatchy/3231765They love biting your penis for some reason. The foreskin will swell like a balloon if they bite there.




    icon_eek.gif good to know


    If you think being bit by a fire ant is bad, let a phorid fly bite your rod..."the head falls off in two weeks".
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    May 16, 2009 1:45 PM GMT
    hurray for texas icon_smile.gif
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    May 16, 2009 1:50 PM GMT
    Lostboy saidactually it sounds like the flies already got Rush Limbaugh...


    LOL! Yes, he has all the symptoms: swollen head, and acting irrationally. Any bets as to when his head will finally fall off?
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    May 16, 2009 1:51 PM GMT
    they keep moving for a month after their brains have been eaten. I don´t know what that would be in human years.
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    May 16, 2009 1:56 PM GMT
    id bone every1 i wanted to for that month

    zombie secks
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    May 16, 2009 2:11 PM GMT
    When I first moved to Texas I had to temporarily rent a house in a civilian community, until officer's quarters were available for me on Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. And I was warned not to let my dog outside in the fenced back yard, unsupervised for any length of time, because he might get attacked by fire ants.

    One day I had just let him outside, when I heard him barking loudly, and saw him jumping all around excitedly. I went out back and found he was threatening a rattlesnake in the grass! I pulled him inside quickly, while the snake slithered away out of the yard.

    A few years later I was unpacking at my next duty assignment after Texas, and was unrolling a rug in my latest house. And out popped - a scorpion! How it got there I can't be sure, but that rug had been stored for a while in the attic of my Fort Sam house, which is my best guess where it came from. The scorpion was pretty groggy, not surprisingly, and I killed it easily.

    One Texas threat I never faced was the killer bees, although the vast numbers of bats that swarmed from caves north of San Antonio, one of the largest colonies in the world, could be disconcerting. When I walked the dog at night I could just hear them flying overhead, if they passed very close to my head, sometimes brushing it as I crossed open parade fields. And if the night was bright you might glimpse their outlines against the sky, like in a horror movie.
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    May 16, 2009 2:13 PM GMT
    Red_Vespa saidWhen I first moved to Texas I had to temporarily rent a house in a civilian community, until officer's quarters were available for me on Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. And I was warned not to let my dog outside in the fenced back yard, unsupervised for any length of time, because he might get attacked by fire ants.

    One day I had just let him outside, when I heard him barking loudly, and saw him jumping all around excitedly. I went out back and found he was threatening a rattlesnake in the grass! I pulled him inside quickly, while the snake slithered away out of the yard.

    A few years later I was unpacking at my next duty assignment after Texas, and was unrolling a rug in my latest house. And out popped - a scorpion! How it got there I can't be sure, but that rug had been stored for a while in the attic of my Fort Sam house, which is my best guess where it came from. The scorpion was pretty groggy, not surprisingly, and I killed it easily.

    One Texas threat I never faced was the killer bees, although the vast numbers of bats that swarmed from caves north of San Antonio, one of the largest colonies in the world, could be disconcerting. When I walked the dog at night I could just hear them flying overhead, if they passed very close to my head, sometimes brushing it as I crossed open parade fields. And if the night was bright you might glimpse their outlines against the sky.


    didint u love it tho? i was attacked my a rattle snake on my jog in the park last week. and the bats are in full swing

    i like to live life on the edge ;)
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    May 16, 2009 2:20 PM GMT
    waxon saiddidint u love it tho? i was attacked my a rattle snake on my jog in the park last week. and the bats are in full swing

    i like to live life on the edge ;)

    Ah, I see you are in SAT, so you know exactly what I'm talking about. BTW, my officer's quarters on Fort Sam were on Graham Road if you know it, one of those lovely 2-story homes near the Officer's Club with the Spanish-tile roofs.

    I did enjoy SAT, though hotter than blazes in summer. Loved Sunday lunches on the River Walk, excellent Tex-Mex food, taking my camper into the Hill Country, up to Canyon Lake, or down to Corpus and South Padre on the Gulf. I think it was the best assignment of my 25 years.
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    May 16, 2009 2:55 PM GMT
    Red_Vespa said
    waxon saiddidint u love it tho? i was attacked my a rattle snake on my jog in the park last week. and the bats are in full swing

    i like to live life on the edge ;)

    Ah, I see you are in SAT, so you know exactly what I'm talking about. BTW, my officer's quarters on Fort Sam were on Graham Road if you know it, one of those lovely 2-story homes near the Officer's Club with the Spanish-tile roofs.

    I did enjoy SAT, though hotter than blazes in summer. Loved Sunday lunches on the River Walk, excellent Tex-Mex food, taking my camper into the Hill Country, up to Canyon Lake, or down to Corpus and South Padre on the Gulf. I think it was the best assignment of my 25 years.


    yeah its awsome, the food and the lounging is amazing which is one of the reasons its hard to stay in shape here icon_sad.gif