‘cheese-eating midge

cheese-eating midge 4-3-13

at an estimated 4mm body length it wasn’t the easiest thing to get so close to the beast without it flying off and away but some encouraging words followed with promises of some fresher Gouda kept it a bay long enough to get a somewhat decent shot to be able observe this fish-food’s key elements to be later transposed to imitations of adult chironomids.
apart from getting proportionally slimmer, it’s interesting to note that the adult’s body stays basically the same as in it’s pupal stage.  the breathers, antennae and other leggy-wingy goodies are quite delicate and beautiful, transforming it from the Alieny thing below into a mini fairy. Midge Pupa - google images

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pupa image via Google Images

In Spain, no one can hear you scream…

very sad news from Spain and around the Mediterranean…

“Mediterranean fish under threat from gruesome ‘Alien’ parasite which eats their tongues then lives in their mouths.”

‘Betty is quite gruesome and does remind you of the Alien films, but it’s a highly adapted and specialised animal which is very successful.  Unfortunately, over-fishing upsets the balance of parasite and host and interferes with the whole eco-system.”

“Named Betty by the scientists, ceratothoa italica breeds by entering the mouth through the gills. A female parasite will then take up position on the tongue, virtually replacing it, and feeding on blood as it grows to adulthood.”

read more here.