UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — A virus is turning caterpillars into zombies.
There is no need to panic, the world isn’t ending, but in the northwest of England caterpillars are suffering from the exploding Baculovirus.
The virus is manipulating the caterpillar to change it’s behavior, behaviors the insect has learned over time to help it survive. Chris Miller, an expert on the area’s local wildlife said, “It’s like a zombie horror film.”
This isn’t the first time, the Baculovirus has been found brainwashing caterpillars.
A study, published in the Journal Biology Letters in 2014, examined how the virus alters the way caterpillars respond to life.
The results suggest the virus is causing caterpillars to ignore their natural instinct to hide from sunlight. Instead, they climb toward direct light at the top of trees or plants.
At this point they die, and then explode, allowing the virus to move on to it’s next victim, and continue to spread.