Characteristics and living habits of parasitic catfish

Parasitic catfish (vandellia cirrhosa) is a kind of fish growing in the Amazon River Basin of South America. It belongs to catfish order and hairy nose catfish family. It may be the smallest vertebrate in the world. Its adult body is less than 10mm. Its body color is transparent and its shape is slender. Therefore, it is difficult to be found in water. The reputation of parasitic catfish is turning pale, sometimes even more than piranha. It is called “vampire fish”.


Biological characteristics
There are bundles of thorns on the gill cover of parasitic catfish, which live in a parasitic way: usually drill into the gills of large fish, hook them with thorns and suck fish blood. If someone swims naked in the water, they will be drilled into the urethra. Once it happens, it can only be removed by surgery. Sometimes it will cause death if it is too late for treatment. It is said that there are chemicals similar to those in fish gills in human urine, which attract parasitic catfish.
Parasitic catfish inhabits in the gill cavity of big catfish and other freshwater fish. Parasitic catfish has a slender body, which can easily pass through the gill hole of big fish, and pierce the host’s skin with sharp teeth and gill cover spines to make it bleed, and then suck by mouth. Parasitic catfish wriggle between the gill petals of large fish with the help of cluster spines arranged on the gill cover, so as to change its position and find a suitable foothold. In Brazil, this kind of fish often victimizes the local people, because it has the habit of drilling into the urethra of bathers in the river. Therefore, in the local area, both men and women should wear a kind of pants made of coconut fiber before entering the water to protect their genitals. This kind of small fish usually goes into the urethra when people urinate. It is said that parasitic catfish mistook people’s urination for the respiratory flow discharged from the gill hole of a fish.
Parasitic habit
After entering the organ, it will devour the flesh and blood with its round mouth and sharp teeth, and then leave a strange hole, just like a bullet. It will eat your organs from the inside out. Hundreds of such monsters have been found in human bodies in the Amazon. Scientists and forensic doctors have confirmed that the victim may still be alive at the time of this catfish attack, but he can’t resist.

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