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Hangers-on, lumps & body-snatchers

Appeared in DIVER May 2012

Why is it that a normally fast-moving fish allows you to photograph it? It may well be the victim of parasites that have slowed it down. JAMIE WATTS finds these marine vampires intriguing – if not at times revolting!

On the cucumber sits an emperor shrimp, and on the side of the shrimp sits an isopod
On the cucumber sits an emperor shrimp, and on the side of the shrimp sits an isopod
  • Isopod on a Rhinopias scorpionfish
    Isopod on a Rhinopias scorpionfish
  • this clownfish is having the life sucked out of it by a tongue parasite
    this clownfish is having the life sucked out of it by a tongue parasite
  • Greenland shark eyeball copepod
    Greenland shark eyeball copepod
  • the appendages hanging off this goby are parasitic copepods
    the appendages hanging off this goby are parasitic copepods
  • The ultimate parasite? A rhizocephalan barnacle on an Antarctic crab’s abdomen
    The ultimate parasite? A rhizocephalan barnacle on an Antarctic crab’s abdomen
  • Biter bitten – Liriopsis isopods parasitise the rhizocephalan
    Biter bitten – Liriopsis isopods parasitise the rhizocephalan
  • Isopods on a butterflyfish
    Isopods on a butterflyfish
  • Jamie Watts
    Jamie Watts
  • Click on any thumbnail photo to enlarge it and use the slideshow
    Click on any thumbnail photo to enlarge it and use the slideshow