Tongue-eating parasite does not harm fish by eating its tongue
A rare isopod parasite has been found off the coast of Jersey inside a weaver fish.
The isopod attaches itself to the tongue of a fish and eats it. After a while the fish’s tongue is completely gone and the isopod takes over the function of the tongue.
Marine researcher Paul Chambers, from the Société Jersiaise, who was among the team who found the parasite, told the BBC:
“When we emptied the fish bag out there at the bottom was this incredibly ugly looking isopod.
“Really quite large, really quite hideous – if you turn it over its got dozens of these really sharp, nasty claws underneath and I thought ‘that’s a bit of a nasty beast’.
Don’t worry about the fish having a nasty parasite where its tongue should be, is does just fine:
“Apparently there’s not too much ill effect to the fish itself except it’s lost its tongue.”
Via The Loom.