‘Zombie’ caterpillars are exploding to their deaths


A strange thing is happening to caterpillars in the the English countryside: they’re exploding.

The oak eggar moth caterpillar in Lancashire, England, has been infected by a baculovirus. The virus makes the caterpillars climb to the top of plants, toward the sun. 

SEE ALSO: Bug lovers celebrate National Moth Week by posting photos of the colorful, fuzzy creatures

This is not normal behavior. Usually the caterpillars are deep in the moss and undergrowth—away from birds and other predators. Once at the end of a branch, the caterpillar explodes when the baculovirus bursts out of its skin, looking to infect caterpillars below.  Read more…

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