Caterpillar zombie and the virus the Ripper: the horrors of English marshes
English environmentalists are sounding the alarm: in the local nature reserve of caterpillars attacked the virus that leads them to the sun to die.
The killer virus struck the tracks in the protected marshes of the North-East of England. Instead of moths and butterflies they turn into “zombie gutted”, said the conservationists.
Baculovirus — malicious pathogen — driving caterpillars from their homes at unusual heights, where the insect breaks from the inside and the virus breaks out in search of new victims.
Dr. Chris Miller found some furry skins on the branches of trees, when studying the butterflies of the reserve in Lancashire.
“Hideous sight, like zombies in a horror movie,” he described his impressions.
According to the scientist, the virus modifies the behavior of the insect and causes it to respond differently to the light.
“In the end, they climb higher and higher, to dangerous heights — and die there. Usually they are so high not climb, in order not to become prey for birds,” said Dr. Miller.