What is the ecology of the parasite 'Uonoe' that replaces the tongue of fish?

Various types of parasites that parasitize and nourish the host animal have been identified, such as

eliminating the fear of the host and extending the life of the host. One of such parasites, and parasitic on the fish of the tongue impersonate tongue ' Uonoe for' biological-based YouTube channel BioArk has been commentary.

The Most Horrifying Invasive Parasite --YouTube

There is a phrase, 'cat got your tongue: why are you silent?', But this is just an expression, and cats don't really take their tongues.

Humans can probably live normally even if they lose their tongue, but for a moment, imagine that 'a cat took your tongue and then a cat took over.'

If you're going

to be a fish that lives in the Gulf of California or the Gulf of Guayaquil, you might not even have to imagine it anymore. It is not a cat that replaces the tongue in this area, but a species of isopod.

Cymothoa exigua, a representative species of the Cymothoidae family, also known as the tongue-eating louse, begins its life as a tiny male of only a few millimeters.

Cymothoa exigua is a small parasite that invades the mouth in groups from the host fish gills. After that, they live in the gills until they are fully matured.

Growing up in gills, Cymothoa exigua transforms into a tongue-eating female.

The female Cymothoa exigua takes a long time to lay eggs. First, the female Cymothoa exigua moves from the host gills into the mouth. Then, it pierces the strong hind legs firmly into the base of the host's tongue and sucks blood.

Cymothoa exigua keeps injecting substances containing anticoagulants to keep the wounds open. Perhaps the fish will continue to feel itchy as if a human had been bitten by a mosquito. The tongue of the fish eventually loses blood and comes off.

However, despite being called tongue-eating, Cymothoa exigua never leaves the mouth. Cymothoa exigua eats food as well as tongue.

Cymothoa exigua sticks to the base of the fish's tongue, so the fish moves Cymothoa exigua like a real tongue, and Cymothoa exigua uses that movement to eat leftover food.

It spends the rest of its life as a fish tongue, but Cymothoa exigua usually dies before its host fish. And fish that have lost their tongue will soon starve to death because it will be difficult to eat.

If you are human, you don't have to worry about Cymothoa exigua. Cymothoa exigua does not target humans. In the worst case, if you put your finger in the mouth of a fish infested with Cymothoa exigua, you may be bitten by Cymothoa exigua, but you will be bitten by the fish first.

in Creature,   Video, Posted by log1p_kr