"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

August 3, 2010

August 3 -Branchotenthes robinoverstreeti

Guitarfish are really rays, not sharks, but they're closely related and some species are also called sand sharks, so thought this one could slide as a "Shark Week" parasite. Besides, the irony of this parasite is just too much to pass up. Branchotenthes robinoverstreeti is a recently discovered monogenean parasite that infects the gills of guitarfish in the Indian ocean. The haptors of B. robinoverstreeti, which are the posterior structures used to attach to their hosts, look strikingly like the head of a guitar with the six tuning keys. The parasite was named after Dr. Robin Overstreet, an eminent parasitologist of the Gulf Coast Marine Laboratory.

Image is from the original paper.

1 comment:

  1. It seems to me that wikipedia pages about living things should have a "parasitized by" standard section. So, the page for guitarfish could have a link to the page on Branchotenthes robinoverstreeti.

    Maybe that's too much. I just got a brochure from my local Audubon Society that showed that burr oaks (Quercus
    macrocarpa) are home to 518 larval insects: http://www.saintpaulaudubon.org/sites/default/files/GoNativeBooklet.pdf