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Cordelia the Zombie Ant Monster Girl (revisited)

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Hey, here's another Parasite Monster Girl! Meet Cordelia - just another Ant Monster Girl out and about, who just happened to have been infected with a version of the infamous mind-controlling zombie ant fungus - Ophiocordyceps unilateralis. The IRL Ophiocordyceps are able to commandeer their host in a rather specific way that helps them spread their spore. Once the fungal infection reaches maturity, it causes the ant to leave the colony and position itself at a location that ensure to leave the fungal spores in the path of other uninfected ants.

There are multiple species of Cordyceps fungi that infect ants, each with their own quirk, and there are also fungi that infect other insects and perform similar mind-control on their hosts, for example, this one which infect soldier beetles which makes them clamp themselves to daisies and spread their wings wide open. See also Akane the Cordyceps-infected moth girl, who is based on a species of Cordyceps that infect moths.

Fun fact: There are many different species of zombie ant fungi and they themselves can get parasitised by their own zombie fungus - a case of Hyperparasitism which is a term for parasites that make a habit of infecting other parasites.

Some of you might notice that this is a revised version of a Parasite Monster Girl that I drew and uploaded here on dA almost two years ago after almost two years of drawing Monster Girls, I decided that it was about time that I revisit this iconic parasite-host pairing. But this time I completely redesigned the character from scratch to more closely match the style that I have developed for the rest of the Parasite Monster Girls.
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© 2017 - 2022 The-Episiarch
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Vyctorian's avatar
Excellent work on the fungal bits ~💖
The-Episiarch's avatar
Vyctorian's avatar
TrilobiteCannibal's avatar
I kinda enjoy seeing creators come up with clothing for their monster girls, and I gott say I'm surprised I've never seen shorts like this, but  I guess most artist just would use a skirt or something. I also love the combination of ant and human going on with her limbs :D
The-Episiarch's avatar
Thanks! I noticed with many insect/arthropod girl type characters, their limb designs are usually just thin and straight-up insectile and I wanted to try something more original. As for her limb configuration, in my original design notes was the word "ant-taur" - I was aiming for something like a centaur but with ant-like parts in place of the horse-like parts.

I have also noticed that most artists use a skirt on their monster (or non-monster) girl character, so I decided to do something different and try some shorts for Cordelia. They also fit her legs better anyway. I'm not entirely sure about the reason(s) behind the preference for skirts, but speaking from my personal experience, draw skirts on a character is definitely easier than drawing shorts, so I wonder whether that has anything to do with it.
TrilobiteCannibal's avatar
I feel like the skirt is the norm because it works with a variety of different limbs, meaning it can work for anything from 4 to 0 limbs, at least in the case of monster girls
CipherDraco54's avatar
Nice reference and use of the Cordyceps Fungi, looks like the Video Game The Last of Us is not the only one who takes advantage of the possibilities and creativity of this unique but horrifying fungi :3
The-Episiarch's avatar
Thanks, I've also previously done other illustrations inspired by Cordyceps Fungi, including Akane the Cordyceps-infected Moth Girl, and another one I did years ago called "The Grave Tender" (see below).  

  Akane the Cordyceps-infected Moth Girl by The-Episiarch   The Grave Tender by The-Episiarch  
CipherDraco54's avatar
Creepy, but looks amazing non the less :3
The-Episiarch's avatar
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