Puppeteer parasite

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A puppeteer parasite is a parasitic creature capable of commandeering control of it's host organism.

Puppeteer Parasites in Real Life

Cordyceps fungus infected ant. If an infected ant reaches this stage inside an ant colony the entire colony is doomed. If an infected ant is noticed, guard ants tend to carry it away, sometimes close to a rival colony.

Several species of parasitic organisms can influence creatures. This includes fungi and a few species of flukes. Their control is generally limited, as both host and parasite have limited processing power. The final result of most of these infections is placing the victim in a position that will facilitate the reproduction of the parasite. In insects, the cordyceps fungus tends to drive the victim into place where it's spores can easily infect other insects. Cordyceps fungus can be so invasive as to be able to wipe out an entire ant colony in a matter of days.

And yes ants do practice biological warfare.

Video of the cordyceps fungus in action

Puppeteer Parasites in Science Fiction

Puppeteer parasites are quite common science fiction, particularly horror sci-fi.

  • The alien invaders from Robert A. Heinlein's Novel The Puppet Masters (1951)
  • The Goa'uld
  • The Yerks from Anamorphs
  • The Drakh Keepers from Babylon 5
  • The parasites from TOS "Operation: Annihilate!"
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