Islamabad            -        Cicadas infected with the parasitic fungus Massospora unknowingly engage in trickery with their fellow insects, resulting in effective disease transmission, according to West Virginia University-led research.

Massospora manipulates male cicadas into flicking their wings like females – a mating invitation – which tempts unsuspecting male cicadas and infects them. It’s a recent discovery into the bizarre world of cicadas plagued by a psychedelic fungus that contains chemicals including those found in hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Essentially, the cicadas are luring others into becoming infected because their healthy counterparts are interested in mating. The bioactive compounds may manipulate the insect to stay awake and continue to transmit the pathogen for longer.