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Caterpillar fungus, sold in markets and traditional medicine dispensaries throughout China was available here in the Qing Ping Market in Guangzhou until the market was closed in the early 2000's. 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. (See "Fungus in your tea" on page 89 of Man Eating Bugs)

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©1998 Peter Menzel www.menzelphoto.com
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Caterpillar fungus, sold in markets and traditional medicine dispensaries throughout China was available here in the Qing Ping Market in Guangzhou until the market was closed in the early 2000's. 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. (See "Fungus in your tea" on page 89 of Man Eating Bugs)