Caterpillar fungus gift boxes for sale in a traditional medical pharmacy, Kunming, China. The parasitic fungus Cordyceps sinensis attacks the larvae of the ghost moth Hepialus armoricanus, and grows into the body of the caterpillar. The fungus literally takes over the caterpillar, forming a hard, brown, mummy-like fungus sculpture of the caterpillar. The fungus is used to treat asthma, colds, jaundice, and tuberculosis and is very expensive: It sells for 4,000 yuan ($500 U.S.) per pound. Image from the book project Man Eating Bugs: The Art and Science of Eating Insects.
- ©1998 Peter Menzel www.menzelphoto.com
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- Contained in galleries