Cordyceps akanthomyces!!!!

Ben and I had some one on one time! We, of course, went for an adventure in the woods. Our goal was Morchella….morel mushrooms. We had no mushroom luck, however…..

Ben crossing Stony Brook Tamworth

There is a great area by Stony Brook in Tamworth that we frequent. Parts of it have been logged, but we’ve had good morel luck there in years past, and there is an AMAZEBALLS ravine that is, well, amazeballs. Ben thought the stream crossing was “hard core.”

It totally was. Cordyceps akanthomyces on moth, stone river

We may not have found morels, but we found a Cordyceps! This moth was a good three inches in length, and blended right into the bark of the tree. I’m not entirely sure how we spotted it!

Cordyceps akanthomyces on moth Stony River tamworth

Per Parker, this is Cordyceps akanthomyces.  Cordyceps are a genus of parasitic mushroom.

Wait, let me re-phrase that. Cordyceps are FREAKING COOL!  It is always an awesome find. When an insect is infected by the fungal spores, the fungus eventually kiss the host and grows those cool-ass spikes, which will eventually release more spores. There are some that even hijack the nervous system of the host, making them climb up high and clamp on to a leaf… better for the spreading of spores, I guess? Cordyceps akanthomyces on tree, Stony River, tamworth

Thankfully, Cordyceps don’t infect larger animals….. yet……

Michelle

Michelle

the dirty girl at dirty botany
Head dirty girl at dirtybotany.com!
Bug worshiper.
Slime mold fanatic.
Macrophotographer in training.
Michelle

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