It sounds like it could be a movie: Killer Texas Fungus vs. Invasive Crazy Ants. I'm not saying it would win an Academy Award or anything, but the special effects would be great.
Sadly, crazy ants are, in fact, very real and they've continued to become an invasive pest over the last 20 years. Crazy ants are terrible for Texas and anywhere else as they can overrun homes and and even take out breaker boxes.
According to MySA.com, Tawny crazy ants continue to spread throughout North America. Air conditioning units, sewage pumps and other electrical devices can be devoured by the crazy ants.
Oh, and did I mention that crazy ants also shoot acid to blind animals, such as baby rabbits?
Luckily, researchers at the University of Texas were able to figure out that a spores from microsporidian was able to kill off these crazy ants without harming any of the other species. From to MySa.com:
Eight years ago, researchers noticed some crazy ants collected from Florida had abdomens swollen with fat. When they looked inside their bodies, they found spores from microsporidia, a group of fungal pathogens and a species new to science. Microsporidian pathogens commonly hijack an insect's fat cells and turn them into spore factories, according to UT Austin.
It's unclear where the pathogen came from, but researchers found that every population that harbored the pathogen declined. Sixty-two percent of these populations disappeared entirely. UT Austin believes the colonies collapsed because the pathogen shortens the lifespan of worker ants, making it hard for the population to survive through winter.
The researches now plan to test their killer crazy ant fungus in other Texas habitats that have been taken over by crazy ants.
Sounds like great work to me.