"So, naturalists observe, a flea has smaller fleas that on him prey; and these have smaller still to bite ’em; and so proceed ad infinitum."
- Jonathan Swift

January 10, 2010

January 7 - Sacculina carcini

A great example of a crustacean that parasitizes another crustacean is the barnacle, Sacculina carcini, which is a parasite of crabs. These parasites are favorites of professors as they represent a great example of host manipulation. Sacculina mimics the broods of female crabs, causing her to groom the parasite sac and help the eggs disperse into the water. And if the Sacculina finds itself in a male crab - it just sterilizes it and causes it to act like a female!

1 comment:

  1. As an enormous fan of (and presumably host to) an untold number of parasites, I thank you from the bottom of my worm-riddled heart. This is a great idea for a site and will undoubtedly point me toward more parasites with which to populate my artwork.

    Your pal,
    Zebulon Whatley