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Pink Anemone Fish with Tongue parasite


Posted by ChrisRoss on Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:49 am

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Pink Anemone Fish  Amphiprion perideraion

The pink anemone fish with it's home anemone, however look closely and you will see something wrong, this fish has been infected with the tongue eating isopod parasite. This parasite enters through the gills and attaches to the tongue which eventually dies and the parasite takes its place.  Apparently it lives off the fish's blood and the fish has to live with this parasite in its mouth.  The underwater world is truly bizarre:

Larger Image:Pink Anemonefish

Here is a link to a closeup of the mouth:Closeup

Olympus OM-D EM-1 MkII + 60mm macro.  INON strobes, Nauticam housing. 

1/250 @ f8 ISO400
Chris Ross
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Australia
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by Craig Lipski on Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:30 am
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Fascinating info, great image. The anemone is not only a natural habitat, it makes for an aesthetically great bg. I’m not normally a fan of centered comps, but this really works here.
Good light,
Craig
 

by Mark Boranyak on Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:51 am
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Very nice image. Learned something new about the wonderful ocean world.

Thanks for sharing. 
 

by rhighercat on Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:35 am
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Beautiful image with nice colors and sharpness. Anemone makes a nice background. I am getting a good education about marine wildlife from your postings!
 

by Tom Whelan on Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:29 pm
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Great portrait and setting - wonderful angle on the fish.
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by Carol Clarke on Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:02 am
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Nature in general is bizarre! Excellent capture, Chris.

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by SMB on Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:29 am
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Cool shot. Bizzare isopod indeed! Like the Clownfish, all the young are born males. They enter the fish via the gills and one then becomes a female which latches onto the tongue and destroys the blood supply to the tongue such that it withers and dies. The remnant is still a latch point for the Isopod.
Most times, while the parasite grows quite large, it does not kill the fish. Instead the fish relies on the invading critter as a prosthetic tongue so that the fish can somehow keep eating! (The male isopod BTW lives in the gills and is much smaller; available to keep reproducing more parasites.)

Nice find Chris.
 

by Paul Rossi on Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:14 pm
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Great image and story.
 

by Paul Rossi on Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:17 pm
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SMB wrote:
Cool shot. Bizzare isopod indeed! Like the Clownfish, all the young are born males. They enter the fish via the gills and one then becomes a female which latches onto the tongue and destroys the blood supply to the tongue such that it withers and dies. The remnant is still a latch point for the Isopod.
Most times, while the parasite grows quite large, it does not kill the fish. Instead the fish relies on the invading critter as a prosthetic tongue so that the fish can somehow keep eating! (The male isopod BTW lives in the gills and is much smaller; available to keep reproducing more parasites.)

Nice find Chris.



Fascinating info.  Thanx for sharing.
 

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