What, There are More of Them?

There is no story that can’t be improved by adding zombies.

~Kelley Armstrong

Walking down the driveway this morning I noticed something on a twig that was propped up against a tree trunk. When I leaned in for a closer look, I said to myself, “you gotta be kidding me, another one?”

Cordceps fungus on unknown insect

Cordyceps fungus on unknown insect (click photos to enlarge)

It looked like another fungus-stricken cricket similar to the one I described in yesterday’s post. But, the more I looked, I realized I couldn’t quite tell exactly what was under those fungal stalks. As I was trying to figure this out, I detected something else about two feet away on the stem of a sapling.

Carolina Leaf Roller with fungus

Another Carolina Leaf-roller infected by the Zombie Fungus

This time there was no doubt…another cricket infected by the Zombie Fungus. Unlike the one yesterday, this one is obviously a female because of the presence of an ovipositor (sword-like structure for laying eggs) on the rear. I suppose the first thing I saw on the nearby twig is also a fungus-infected cricket, just one that has deteriorated to a greater degree. What’s going on in this yard? A Zombie Apocalypse? A Zombie Cricket Apocalypse? That doesn’t sound right. Since I am unschooled in the world of zombie vocabulary, I went inside and looked up what you call a group of them. Who knew there were so many resources on the internet for such things? One reference laid it out in great detail. If only a small area, like a building, or a graveyard, has a group of zombies, it is called an infestation. If a few acres are involved, it is a horde. If an entire community has them, it is called a plague. If an entire country or continent has zombies, it would be called a pandemic. And, if the entire world is overrun with zombies, then it is a Zombie Apocalypse. So, what do you call a group of crickets (a stretch of rainy days does strange things to me apparently)? The answer – an orchestra. That means the technical term for what is happening in the yard is an orchestra infestation. That doesn’t sound quite as bad I suppose.

2 thoughts on “What, There are More of Them?

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