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Cordyceps tenuipes - full, La Isla Escondida, Colombia This was a thrilling discovery for us. On this long daytime hike we had plenty of time to mess around so Brayan (our local guide) and I were playing with creative lighting (off-camera flash). We played around with some angles and distances on this strange tree-like fungi found on the forest floor. We found it odd that it was growing in such a tilted way and Brayan found the look of this one so interesting that he wanted to collect it.<br />
<br />
As he picks it up, only then do we realize there&#039;s a big insect it is growing out of, and that this is a cordyceps fungus. We discovered this exciting category only the night before and this is the 2nd species we found. <br />
<br />
I based identification on this page, one of few pages I found with some good info:<br />
<a href="http://mushroaming.com/Rainforest_Cordyceps" rel="nofollow">http://mushroaming.com/Rainforest_Cordyceps</a><br />
<br />
If the identification is correct, this is a very widely distributed species. It even occurs in my home country the Netherlands, I had no idea. In dutch it is called the &quot;rough powdered insect killer&quot;. Observations indeed come from multiple continents but there&#039;s a few dozen at most that I can find. Likely a case of common to occur, uncommon to see or be reported.<br />
<br />
Based on other reference photos, this looks to be a fine specimen that is large, heavily branched and seemingly in its peak state. Note that this species is typically referred to as &quot;Isaria tenuipes&quot; yet in its anamorphical stage (as seen here) as Cordyceps tenuipes.<br />
<figure class="photo"><a href="https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71781/cordyceps_tenuipes_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html" title="Cordyceps tenuipes, La Isla Escondida, Colombia"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.jungledragon.com/images/2/71781_thumb.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=05GMT0V3GWVNE7GGM1R2&Expires=1569456010&Signature=sRoltIAuR%2BairyC2RbxWYxTI7FM%3D" width="200" height="134" alt="Cordyceps tenuipes, La Isla Escondida, Colombia This was a thrilling discovery for us. On this long daytime hike we had plenty of time to mess around so Brayan (our local guide) and I were playing with creative lighting (off-camera flash). We played around with some angles and distances on this strange tree-like fungi found on the forest floor. We found it odd that it was growing in such a tilted way and Brayan found the look of this one so interesting that he wanted to collect it.<br />
<br />
As he picks it up, only then do we realize there&#039;s a big insect it is growing out of, and that this is a cordyceps fungus. We discovered this exciting category only the night before and this is the 2nd species we found. <br />
<br />
I based identification on this page, one of few pages I found with some good info:<br />
http://mushroaming.com/Rainforest_Cordyceps<br />
<br />
If the identification is correct, this is a very widely distributed species. It even occurs in my home country the Netherlands, I had no idea. In dutch it is called the &quot;rough powdered insect killer&quot;. Observations indeed come from multiple continents but there&#039;s a few dozen at most that I can find. Likely a case of common to occur, uncommon to see or be reported.<br />
<br />
Based on other reference photos, this looks to be a fine specimen that is large, heavily branched and seemingly in its peak state. Note that this species is typically referred to as &quot;Isaria tenuipes&quot; yet in its anamorphical stage (as seen here) as Cordyceps tenuipes.<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71782/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_closeup_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71783/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_full_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71784/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_victim_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71785/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_branches_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html Colombia,Colombia 2018,Colombia South,Cordyceps tenuipes,La Isla Escondida,Putumayo,South America,World" /></a></figure><br />
<figure class="photo"><a href="https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71782/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_closeup_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html" title="Cordyceps tenuipes - closeup, La Isla Escondida, Colombia"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.jungledragon.com/images/2/71782_thumb.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=05GMT0V3GWVNE7GGM1R2&Expires=1569456010&Signature=zjDeCeptRklatkGjZazlqHW6Fcg%3D" width="200" height="134" alt="Cordyceps tenuipes - closeup, La Isla Escondida, Colombia This was a thrilling discovery for us. On this long daytime hike we had plenty of time to mess around so Brayan (our local guide) and I were playing with creative lighting (off-camera flash). We played around with some angles and distances on this strange tree-like fungi found on the forest floor. We found it odd that it was growing in such a tilted way and Brayan found the look of this one so interesting that he wanted to collect it.<br />
<br />
As he picks it up, only then do we realize there&#039;s a big insect it is growing out of, and that this is a cordyceps fungus. We discovered this exciting category only the night before and this is the 2nd species we found. <br />
<br />
I based identification on this page, one of few pages I found with some good info:<br />
http://mushroaming.com/Rainforest_Cordyceps<br />
<br />
If the identification is correct, this is a very widely distributed species. It even occurs in my home country the Netherlands, I had no idea. In dutch it is called the &quot;rough powdered insect killer&quot;. Observations indeed come from multiple continents but there&#039;s a few dozen at most that I can find. Likely a case of common to occur, uncommon to see or be reported.<br />
<br />
Based on other reference photos, this looks to be a fine specimen that is large, heavily branched and seemingly in its peak state. Note that this species is typically referred to as &quot;Isaria tenuipes&quot; yet in its anamorphical stage (as seen here) as Cordyceps tenuipes.<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71781/cordyceps_tenuipes_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71783/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_full_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71784/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_victim_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71785/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_branches_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html Colombia,Colombia 2018,Colombia South,Cordyceps tenuipes,La Isla Escondida,Putumayo,South America,World" /></a></figure><br />
<figure class="photo"><a href="https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71784/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_victim_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html" title="Cordyceps tenuipes - victim, La Isla Escondida, Colombia"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.jungledragon.com/images/2/71784_thumb.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=05GMT0V3GWVNE7GGM1R2&Expires=1569456010&Signature=UqyZF8uIR%2FKLSyFBYQqgQafpR6w%3D" width="200" height="134" alt="Cordyceps tenuipes - victim, La Isla Escondida, Colombia This was a thrilling discovery for us. On this long daytime hike we had plenty of time to mess around so Brayan (our local guide) and I were playing with creative lighting (off-camera flash). We played around with some angles and distances on this strange tree-like fungi found on the forest floor. We found it odd that it was growing in such a tilted way and Brayan found the look of this one so interesting that he wanted to collect it.<br />
<br />
As he picks it up, only then do we realize there&#039;s a big insect it is growing out of, and that this is a cordyceps fungus. We discovered this exciting category only the night before and this is the 2nd species we found. <br />
<br />
I based identification on this page, one of few pages I found with some good info:<br />
http://mushroaming.com/Rainforest_Cordyceps<br />
<br />
If the identification is correct, this is a very widely distributed species. It even occurs in my home country the Netherlands, I had no idea. In dutch it is called the &quot;rough powdered insect killer&quot;. Observations indeed come from multiple continents but there&#039;s a few dozen at most that I can find. Likely a case of common to occur, uncommon to see or be reported.<br />
<br />
Based on other reference photos, this looks to be a fine specimen that is large, heavily branched and seemingly in its peak state. Note that this species is typically referred to as &quot;Isaria tenuipes&quot; yet in its anamorphical stage (as seen here) as Cordyceps tenuipes.<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71781/cordyceps_tenuipes_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71782/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_closeup_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71783/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_full_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71785/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_branches_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html Colombia,Colombia 2018,Colombia South,Cordyceps tenuipes,La Isla Escondida,Putumayo,South America,World" /></a></figure><br />
<figure class="photo"><a href="https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71785/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_branches_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html" title="Cordyceps tenuipes - branches, La Isla Escondida, Colombia"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.jungledragon.com/images/2/71785_thumb.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=05GMT0V3GWVNE7GGM1R2&Expires=1569456010&Signature=aK0KxGA41imQvB%2BzFolXb5Sj48M%3D" width="118" height="152" alt="Cordyceps tenuipes - branches, La Isla Escondida, Colombia This was a thrilling discovery for us. On this long daytime hike we had plenty of time to mess around so Brayan (our local guide) and I were playing with creative lighting (off-camera flash). We played around with some angles and distances on this strange tree-like fungi found on the forest floor. We found it odd that it was growing in such a tilted way and Brayan found the look of this one so interesting that he wanted to collect it.<br />
<br />
As he picks it up, only then do we realize there&#039;s a big insect it is growing out of, and that this is a cordyceps fungus. We discovered this exciting category only the night before and this is the 2nd species we found. <br />
<br />
I based identification on this page, one of few pages I found with some good info:<br />
http://mushroaming.com/Rainforest_Cordyceps<br />
<br />
If the identification is correct, this is a very widely distributed species. It even occurs in my home country the Netherlands, I had no idea. In dutch it is called the &quot;rough powdered insect killer&quot;. Observations indeed come from multiple continents but there&#039;s a few dozen at most that I can find. Likely a case of common to occur, uncommon to see or be reported.<br />
<br />
Based on other reference photos, this looks to be a fine specimen that is large, heavily branched and seemingly in its peak state. Note that this species is typically referred to as &quot;Isaria tenuipes&quot; yet in its anamorphical stage (as seen here) as Cordyceps tenuipes.<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71781/cordyceps_tenuipes_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71782/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_closeup_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71783/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_full_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71784/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_victim_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html Colombia,Colombia 2018,Colombia South,Cordyceps tenuipes,La Isla Escondida,Putumayo,South America,World" /></a></figure> Colombia,Colombia 2018,Colombia South,Cordyceps tenuipes,La Isla Escondida,Putumayo,South America,World Click/tap to enlarge Promoted

Cordyceps tenuipes - full, La Isla Escondida, Colombia

This was a thrilling discovery for us. On this long daytime hike we had plenty of time to mess around so Brayan (our local guide) and I were playing with creative lighting (off-camera flash). We played around with some angles and distances on this strange tree-like fungi found on the forest floor. We found it odd that it was growing in such a tilted way and Brayan found the look of this one so interesting that he wanted to collect it.

As he picks it up, only then do we realize there's a big insect it is growing out of, and that this is a cordyceps fungus. We discovered this exciting category only the night before and this is the 2nd species we found.

I based identification on this page, one of few pages I found with some good info:
http://mushroaming.com/Rainforest_Cordyceps

If the identification is correct, this is a very widely distributed species. It even occurs in my home country the Netherlands, I had no idea. In dutch it is called the "rough powdered insect killer". Observations indeed come from multiple continents but there's a few dozen at most that I can find. Likely a case of common to occur, uncommon to see or be reported.

Based on other reference photos, this looks to be a fine specimen that is large, heavily branched and seemingly in its peak state. Note that this species is typically referred to as "Isaria tenuipes" yet in its anamorphical stage (as seen here) as Cordyceps tenuipes.

Cordyceps tenuipes, La Isla Escondida, Colombia This was a thrilling discovery for us. On this long daytime hike we had plenty of time to mess around so Brayan (our local guide) and I were playing with creative lighting (off-camera flash). We played around with some angles and distances on this strange tree-like fungi found on the forest floor. We found it odd that it was growing in such a tilted way and Brayan found the look of this one so interesting that he wanted to collect it.<br />
<br />
As he picks it up, only then do we realize there's a big insect it is growing out of, and that this is a cordyceps fungus. We discovered this exciting category only the night before and this is the 2nd species we found. <br />
<br />
I based identification on this page, one of few pages I found with some good info:<br />
http://mushroaming.com/Rainforest_Cordyceps<br />
<br />
If the identification is correct, this is a very widely distributed species. It even occurs in my home country the Netherlands, I had no idea. In dutch it is called the "rough powdered insect killer". Observations indeed come from multiple continents but there's a few dozen at most that I can find. Likely a case of common to occur, uncommon to see or be reported.<br />
<br />
Based on other reference photos, this looks to be a fine specimen that is large, heavily branched and seemingly in its peak state. Note that this species is typically referred to as "Isaria tenuipes" yet in its anamorphical stage (as seen here) as Cordyceps tenuipes.<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71782/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_closeup_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71783/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_full_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71784/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_victim_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71785/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_branches_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html Colombia,Colombia 2018,Colombia South,Cordyceps tenuipes,La Isla Escondida,Putumayo,South America,World

Cordyceps tenuipes - closeup, La Isla Escondida, Colombia This was a thrilling discovery for us. On this long daytime hike we had plenty of time to mess around so Brayan (our local guide) and I were playing with creative lighting (off-camera flash). We played around with some angles and distances on this strange tree-like fungi found on the forest floor. We found it odd that it was growing in such a tilted way and Brayan found the look of this one so interesting that he wanted to collect it.<br />
<br />
As he picks it up, only then do we realize there's a big insect it is growing out of, and that this is a cordyceps fungus. We discovered this exciting category only the night before and this is the 2nd species we found. <br />
<br />
I based identification on this page, one of few pages I found with some good info:<br />
http://mushroaming.com/Rainforest_Cordyceps<br />
<br />
If the identification is correct, this is a very widely distributed species. It even occurs in my home country the Netherlands, I had no idea. In dutch it is called the "rough powdered insect killer". Observations indeed come from multiple continents but there's a few dozen at most that I can find. Likely a case of common to occur, uncommon to see or be reported.<br />
<br />
Based on other reference photos, this looks to be a fine specimen that is large, heavily branched and seemingly in its peak state. Note that this species is typically referred to as "Isaria tenuipes" yet in its anamorphical stage (as seen here) as Cordyceps tenuipes.<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71781/cordyceps_tenuipes_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71783/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_full_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71784/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_victim_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71785/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_branches_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html Colombia,Colombia 2018,Colombia South,Cordyceps tenuipes,La Isla Escondida,Putumayo,South America,World

Cordyceps tenuipes - victim, La Isla Escondida, Colombia This was a thrilling discovery for us. On this long daytime hike we had plenty of time to mess around so Brayan (our local guide) and I were playing with creative lighting (off-camera flash). We played around with some angles and distances on this strange tree-like fungi found on the forest floor. We found it odd that it was growing in such a tilted way and Brayan found the look of this one so interesting that he wanted to collect it.<br />
<br />
As he picks it up, only then do we realize there's a big insect it is growing out of, and that this is a cordyceps fungus. We discovered this exciting category only the night before and this is the 2nd species we found. <br />
<br />
I based identification on this page, one of few pages I found with some good info:<br />
http://mushroaming.com/Rainforest_Cordyceps<br />
<br />
If the identification is correct, this is a very widely distributed species. It even occurs in my home country the Netherlands, I had no idea. In dutch it is called the "rough powdered insect killer". Observations indeed come from multiple continents but there's a few dozen at most that I can find. Likely a case of common to occur, uncommon to see or be reported.<br />
<br />
Based on other reference photos, this looks to be a fine specimen that is large, heavily branched and seemingly in its peak state. Note that this species is typically referred to as "Isaria tenuipes" yet in its anamorphical stage (as seen here) as Cordyceps tenuipes.<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71781/cordyceps_tenuipes_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71782/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_closeup_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71783/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_full_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71785/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_branches_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html Colombia,Colombia 2018,Colombia South,Cordyceps tenuipes,La Isla Escondida,Putumayo,South America,World

Cordyceps tenuipes - branches, La Isla Escondida, Colombia This was a thrilling discovery for us. On this long daytime hike we had plenty of time to mess around so Brayan (our local guide) and I were playing with creative lighting (off-camera flash). We played around with some angles and distances on this strange tree-like fungi found on the forest floor. We found it odd that it was growing in such a tilted way and Brayan found the look of this one so interesting that he wanted to collect it.<br />
<br />
As he picks it up, only then do we realize there's a big insect it is growing out of, and that this is a cordyceps fungus. We discovered this exciting category only the night before and this is the 2nd species we found. <br />
<br />
I based identification on this page, one of few pages I found with some good info:<br />
http://mushroaming.com/Rainforest_Cordyceps<br />
<br />
If the identification is correct, this is a very widely distributed species. It even occurs in my home country the Netherlands, I had no idea. In dutch it is called the "rough powdered insect killer". Observations indeed come from multiple continents but there's a few dozen at most that I can find. Likely a case of common to occur, uncommon to see or be reported.<br />
<br />
Based on other reference photos, this looks to be a fine specimen that is large, heavily branched and seemingly in its peak state. Note that this species is typically referred to as "Isaria tenuipes" yet in its anamorphical stage (as seen here) as Cordyceps tenuipes.<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71781/cordyceps_tenuipes_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71782/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_closeup_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71783/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_full_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71784/cordyceps_tenuipes_-_victim_la_isla_escondida_colombia.html Colombia,Colombia 2018,Colombia South,Cordyceps tenuipes,La Isla Escondida,Putumayo,South America,World

    comments (10)

  1. Wow! In the previous pics I was also wondering were the insect victim was! And I did not know the fungus was also in Europe. Good finding! Posted 7 months ago
  2. Oh SO beautiful! Posted 7 months ago
  3. Wow! Beautiful! Posted 7 months ago
  4. From today's JungleDragon Facebook post:

    "Meet Cordyceps. It's an enigmatic, parasitic fungus that infects insects. Instead of simply existing with their own bodies, Cordyceps commandeers the bodies of insects, and then, eats them alive. Gruesome! The genus has a worldwide distribution, but is particularly abundant in humid climates like tropical forests. Each species of Cordyceps prefers a different species of insect, so they are quite host specific.

    An infection with Cordyceps never ends well for the insect. When this fungi attacks a host, they do so in a memorable way. The spores penetrate the insect's exoskeleton, spread throughout its body, control its movements, and eventually kills it as the fungus sprouts long stalks out of its host's body. These stalks release spores into the air, which rain down onto any unlucky insects below, and the cycle begins again.

    Scientists once thought that Cordyceps infected the brains of their hosts, thus forcing the insects to behave in odd, zombie-like ways. However, research indicates that the fungus actually invades the insect's muscles, leaving the brain untouched and intact. So, this means that the fungus controls the insect's movements, destroying it from within; meanwhile, the insect is fully aware, but powerless to prevent its own demise. Basically, the Cordyceps fungus is like a puppeteer, pulling the strings of it's insect puppet. It sounds brutal, but Cordyceps must infect an insect host in order to complete its own life cycle. Insects are an unfortunate casualty in the life cycle of this fungus, but they serve a critical role in decomposition and nutrient cycling. The amazing relationship between Cordyceps and their host species is a great example of the intricacies of the microbial world that provide nature with a healthy backbone. {Cordyceps tenuipes spotted in Colombia by JungleDragon founder, Ferdy Christant} #JungleDragon"
    Posted 7 months ago
    1. Wow, what a well written and captivating posts. And I learned a bit, I did not know about the muscle aspect! Posted 7 months ago
      1. Thanks, Ferdy! The muscle facts were new to me too. I still remember watching the David Attenborough clip on youtube where he talked about Cordyceps controlling their brains. He'll need to refilm that bit! Posted 7 months ago
        1. I'm glad it turns out to not be true. It would be a matter of time before scientists would work out the process, and after that it's just one bad sci-fi movie. Posted 7 months ago
          1. Yep... Posted 7 months ago
  5. Magnificent Ferdy... excellent detail. Posted 7 months ago
    1. Thanks, Mark! Posted 7 months ago

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Cordyceps tenuipes is a cosmopolitan fungus that parasitizes insects. It is also known as Isaria tenuipes and Paecilomyces tenuipes.

Similar species: Hypocreales
Species identified by fchristant
View fchristant's profile

By fchristant

All rights reserved
Uploaded Dec 28, 2018. Captured Oct 20, 2018 08:55.
  • NIKON D850
  • f/16.0
  • 1/60s
  • ISO64
  • 105mm