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If you think you've got problems . . . remember this pollack
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Rikisub



Joined: 29 Jan 2013
Posts: 77
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:51 am    Post subject: If you think you've got problems . . . remember this pollack Reply with quote

Hello, I enclose a series of photographs you may find interesting. The first one was taken in the wild; the remaining, in my laboratory.

The pollack on the first photograph is quite an unfortunate one: he's got three parasitic Cymothoid isopods: Anilocera physodes. These isopods feed on the skin of the fish, causing quite serious wounds in the end. You may see a couple (female, the larger one, and the male, the smaller one) and yet there is a third one, on the fin (it is difficult to see, but if you look carefully, you may see it). However, the pollack's problems don't end here.

Look into the mouth: don't you notice that the fish's tongue has got eyes? That's because it is not its tongue: it's a tongue - eater isopod called Ceratothoa oestroides. When this isopod is a larvae, it lives in the plankton, but actively looks for a host fish. Once it finds one, it hooks its legs on the fish's skin and moves into the gills, and from there, into the gut. Then, it changes into male and, if there is no female attached, turns into female and starts growing, moves to the fish's mouth, hooks herself into the tongue base and starts feeding from the tongue blood until it dies and is lost. Then, the parasite replaces the tongue and, as surprising as it may seem, the parasite acts as a prostatic tongue, being the fish able to feed normally.

The remaining photographs are stacks, and they show: a C. oestroides protruding from the mouth of another fish, Boops hoops. A female, male and a "manca" larvae (a larvae just before starting its transformation into adult). A mature female of C. oestroides, dorsal and ventral view, this one showing it was pregnant and full of larvae. A "manca" larvae (notice its wonderful eyes) and a ventral view of the head and the first legs, with its hooks. Three immature larvae from the pouch and, finally, the male (dorsal and ventral views).

And, in spite of so many parasites, the pollack seemed to be in good condition and its behavior wasn't different from other pollack nearby. Thus, if it coped with such problems, I think we don't have any excuse to stop dealing with ours and complain, so the lesson I learnt from the pollack was: never surrender and go ahead!



Abadejo parasitado by Rikisub, en Flickr


Cymothoa en boca de boga by Rikisub, en Flickr


Hembra madura, macho y larva madura by Rikisub, en Flickr


Hembra de Cymothoa vista dorsal by Rikisub, en Flickr


Hembra de Cymothoa vista ventral con larvas by Rikisub, en Flickr


Larva madura dorsal by Rikisub, en Flickr


Larva madura ventral cabeza by Rikisub, en Flickr


Larvas de Cymothoa by Rikisub, en Flickr


Macho dorsal by Rikisub, en Flickr


Macho ventral by Rikisub, en Flickr
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Last edited by Rikisub on Sun Aug 09, 2015 12:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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ChrisR
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Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 7254
Location: Near London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brilliant photos, fascinating, and just slightly horrible Very Happy
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18244
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! I did not know any of this. The pictures are great. I have learned so much from this post that already this morning my brain is full and I will have to forget several other things just to keep going. Very Happy (This is a good thing... )

Nicely done!

--Rik

BTW, I have taken the liberty of editing the post's [img] and [url] tags so that they work better with this forum's formatting conventions. The style generated by Flickr generates run-on captions that I find distracting. The problem happens in a lot of posts and mostly I just leave it, but this post was so attention-getting that I thought it was worth the trouble to tidy up a bit.
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JH



Joined: 09 Mar 2013
Posts: 945
Location: Vallentuna, Stockholm, Sweden

PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi extremely interesting and informative. Nice pictures!
Regards J├Ârgen
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Chris S.
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Joined: 05 Apr 2009
Posts: 2848
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is one of my favorite posts in our galleries, ever. Fascinating information, wonderful supporting images.

(And I, too, find it somewhat disturbing.)

--Chris
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 5762
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Incredible... literally!

(Don't know how good is was to contemplate all this just before turning in for the night... "sweet dreams" don't seem in the offing! Wink
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Rikisub



Joined: 29 Jan 2013
Posts: 77
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi! thank you very much for your words, I'm thrilled to bits 'Very Happy' . Thank you for the tidying up Rik, it does look much better now. All the work was worth then. I just regret if I've included some new figures in your nightmares . . . Embarassed
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Carmen



Joined: 10 Feb 2015
Posts: 273
Location: Buenos Aires

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thank you Riki for sharing!

Very informative, and excellent fotomacrography. I am interested in technical details. Were the specimens still alive when photographed? if so, how were they inmovilized for focus stack process?

Rikisub wrote:
. . . the lesson I learnt from the pollack was: never surrender and go ahead!


I think I concurr with the end message. Generally speaking, perseverance seems to be a major factor to succcess.

salu2 cordiales
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Rikisub



Joined: 29 Jan 2013
Posts: 77
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hola Carmen,

Although I usually keep the specimens alive and return them to the sea once finished, in this time all of them were dead, with the exception of the pollack and its passengers. That one was taken while scuba -diving with a Canon Eos 5D and the Canon 100 mm macro lens in an UW housing.
Marine specimens are easy to anesthetize whith magnesium chloride, but this don't work with crustaceans. Thus, a friend of mine who is a spear fisher got me some parasitized fish (they are very common here in Asturias, Spain, and I would dare to say everywhere) and kept them in the freezer for almost a year. Then, once I had the time to work (it took me a whole day to prepare and photograph all the specimens while they were still fresh), I placed them in a microacuaria with filtered marine water (the largest specimens) and in clear Sanex bath gel (yes, the one you may use to keep your skin healthy!) the smaller. I made the stacks using a Sony nex - 6 camera with a canon 100 mm macro lens (the largest specimens) and a JML - 21 mm lens (the smaller) plus extension rings. Stacks are between 18 - 20 shots and 40 - 60 according to enlargement, and were stacked and retouched with the wonderful Zerene Stacker.

Saludos cordiales!
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Last edited by Rikisub on Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:30 am; edited 2 times in total
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Pau
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Joined: 20 Jan 2010
Posts: 4000
Location: Valencia, Spain

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Riki, this is a wonderful work, excellently performed and most instructive.

Specially impressed by the first image thaken in the wild and by the second one showing the tonge parasite.
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Rikisub



Joined: 29 Jan 2013
Posts: 77
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Pau!
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abpho



Joined: 17 Aug 2011
Posts: 1423
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very informative. Thank you.
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Munich



Joined: 16 Jun 2014
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 11:54 am    Post subject: mouthwatering Reply with quote

really mouthwatering images,('Laughing')
absolutely splendid.
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Rikisub



Joined: 29 Jan 2013
Posts: 77
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi again! Thank you very much for your comments. I enclose a photo of a boga (Boops boops) the fish in whose mouth you may observe the parasite on the second image of the series. I took this shot yesterday in the wild, but I couldn't see if it was carrying the parasite . . .

[img]IMG_3760 by Rikisub, en Flickr[/img]
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RobertOToole



Joined: 17 Jan 2013
Posts: 405
Location: United States

PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting and well done Ricardo.

Growing up and living in California I have seen these types of isopods crawl out of a caught fishes mouth and when some fish are hooked, like a tuna or albacore, you can sometimes see the isopods scrambling over the fish yanked out of the water!

Robert
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