|Tasmania- click to enlarge|
Mark Bower's story:
|Club-shaped fungus - MB|
|Cordyceps fungus growing out of a parasitized caterpillar - MB|
|Legs of the parasitized caterpillar- MB|
An entertaining way to understand their life cycle is in this script of a three act play describing its attack on a caterpillar.
C. gunnii like other Cordyceps sp. has a history of use as a traditional herbal medicine. Ophiocordyceps sinensis is the best known example which is used through out SE Asia. Recent studies of polysaccharides from the C. gunnii suggest that they could enhance nonspecific immunological function, humoral immunity, cellular immunity in mice, and inhibit tumor growth.
Chris and Deb Barnhart have traveled a lot in Asia studying mussels (see the "no accounting for a person's taste" above) and they shared these photographs of O. sinensis, aka "vegetable worms," where they saw trays sorted for sale in the market in Dalien, Tibet. For more on our Missouri Cordyceps, see this past blog.