As a combined body of insect and fungus, Cordyceps (Caterpillar fungi) are the result of a parasitic relationship between the fungus Cordyceps and the larva of the ghost moth. Caterpillar fungi belong to Clavicipitaceae under Hypocreales; in summer and autumn, its spores develop into mycelium and attack the larva of the ghost moth to grow and proliferate in their bodies and absorb nutrient from the larva body. The larva ends up as a shell of mycelium and form sclerotia. The larva usually hibernates in the soil during winter. In the following summer, the fungus which has invaded the larva bodies will extrude as columnar fruiting bodies and emerges from the ground. Since its shape resembles grass, it is named as Yar-Tsa-Guen-Bub meaning ” summer grass, winter worm”. The name Cordyceps comes from the Latin words: cord and ceps, meaning “club” and “head”, respectively and Sinensis (from China). Cordyceps are a type of fungus, better known as a species of edible medicinal, nutritionally beneficial mushrooms. While closely related to other mushrooms, Cordyceps isn’t technically the same as most mushrooms and instead are classified as a powerful form of Ascomycetes fungus and is one of the most popular and widely respected herbs in the world.

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