Annis interviewed by BDN for article about ‘zombie fly fungus’
Seanna Annis, associate professor of mycology and plant pathology specialist with University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke to the Bangor Daily News about a parasitic fungus that survives by infecting houseflies called entomophthora muscae, also known as the “zombie fly fungus.” The fungus is attacking flies in homes and gardens around the state of Maine. After about six days of feasting on an infected, living fly, the fungus takes over its behavior and forces it to climb to the highest available location where the female finally dies, leaving only a hollowed-out corpse.“They direct the fly to this high location and to put its head down, abdomen sticking up in the air and the wings spread out. Then it dies in that position. The idea is the spores will fly high and far enough that a new fly will come in contact with them,” Annis said. WGME-TV (Channel 13 in Portland) and WPFO-TV (Fox 22 in Portland) shared the BDN report.