Friday, 26 August 2011
The Tongue-eating Louse is a parasite from Californian waters, but it's far more abominable than your average blood sucking intestine botherer.
It starts when a youngster attaches itself to the gills of a rather attractive and entirely innocent Spotted Rose Snapper. It grows and becomes male. Maybe it's feasting on fish gill mucus? That would be disgusting if I didn't occasionally take cod liver oil.
Anyway, at some point it matures into a female, probably all embarrassed about those silly things it used to do when it was a young male. Then it probably mates somehow. I wonder if it mates once as a male and then once as a female? Who knows? (I really don't know if anyone knows...) Who cares? (I kinda do) We got Tongue-eating to do! And it doesn't involve teenagers kissing with inappropriate passion, either.
But the Tongue-eating Louse is a kind hearted parasite. It wouldn't do a fish such a wrong and leave it pining for the memory of its tongue. Not after all the blood and mucus it so kindly provided whether it wanted to or not.
And neither will the louse. In return for not leaving her host in life-endangering devastation and grief over a lost organ, she feeds on yet more mucus with a bit of blood for dessert. For ever and ever. Until death do them part.
Sort of cute in a way.