Larval paragnathiosis of mullets
Leaflet for the identification of larval paragnathiosis of mullets.
This typical estuarine crustacean parasite (Paragnathia formica) lives in cavities beneath the surface of salt marsh soils. Its life cycle begins during the winter with the liberation of the first larva (zuphea). The zuphea is attached to a fish for 2 hours to 2 days and engorges the blood of the host, which distends the thorax to twice the diameter of the rest of the body. This swollen larva (praniza) leaves the host until the next meal. The adult stage occurs in the following winter.
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