Goldenrod Soldier Beetle--killed by fungus - Chauliognathus pensylvanicus
Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area, Orange County, North Carolina, USA September 12, 2003
We found several such killed leatherwings that day. All were in the same position, jaws locked onto foliage, near the top of a plant, and abdomen projecting out. The biology graduate students I was with said they had read about similar phenomena in the tropics: the parasitic fungus causes an insect to climb up and then assume a position allowing dispersal of the fungus. Freaky! (I'll try to get details from these folks.)
Update 9/27/2010! See comments on likely identity of the pathogen.
Contributed by Cotinis on 21 September, 2004 - 11:59pm Last updated 26 September, 2010 - 8:30pm
Disclaimer: Dedicated naturalists volunteer their time and resources here to provide this service. We strive to provide accurate information, but we are mostly just amateurs attempting to make sense of a diverse natural world. If you need expert professional advice, contact your local extension office.