Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fish lice

Insects are virtually absent from the sea, but fish aren’t safe from lice of their own. Argulus or “fish lice” are crustaceans, like crabs or lobsters, but adapted to a fully parasitic lifestyle. Their flat, saucer-shaped bodies act as powerful suction cups, clinging to their host’s slick, slimy scales even against a raging current. Just like the parasites of us air-breathers, these “fish lice” can transmit viral infections as they spread from one host to another.

No comments: