Tongue-eating bug found in fish

Tongue-eating bug found in fish

A gross creature which gobbles up a fish's tongue and then replaces it with its own body has been found in Britain for the first time.

The bug - which has the scientific name cymothoa exigua - was discovered inside the mouth of a red snapper bought from a London fishmonger. The 3.5cm creature had grabbed onto the fish's tongue and slowly ate away at it until only a stub was left. It then latched onto the stub and became the fish's "replacement tongue".

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34 Responses:

  1. telecart says:



  2. ghosthacked says:

    This was the "intelligent symbiote" in Interstellar Pig, except it was a sapient reptile's mouth, but same attachment mechanism, etc.

  3. lushlush says:

    And the fish suspects NOTHING?!

  4. deificar says:

    Oh THAT'S why he was gargling! Poor guy... Those tongue bugs can be detrimental to a person's career.

  5. abates says:

    Just when you think the world can't get any stranger...


  6. carbonunit says:

    Surely only a God of Love could design and create such a wonderful creature, a parasite which gnaws off a fish tongue and then attaches itself to the stump in order to snatch a portion of the fishes food! Although I still think the Guinea worm is the best example of the work of Our Lord the benevolent creater and designer of all life.

  7. vimsig says:

    What do they say? - my other tongue is a sea louse.

  8. ajaxxx says:

    scientists say the creature does not pose any threat to humans and only attaches itself to fish tongues.

    who volunteers for that experiment?

    • willyumtx says:

      Hey, maybe this creature could be used as a replacement for humans who have lost their tongues in industrial accidents.

  9. jerronimo says:

    Man... that's nightmare material right there.

  10. chaosmeika says:

    I could have sworn you already posted this before... I don't know why I have that feeling, but Im almost positive that you posted this before....

    how odd....

  11. jope says:

    That's the last time I put a babelfish to my ear. "Only attaches itself to fish tongues"? Sure. I saw "Wrath of Khan".

  12. whittles says:

    I read the subject line and yet kept reading.
    I read the body and yet kept reading through comments.
    Why god, why do I do this to myself?

  13. ammonoid says:

    I didn't know fish had tongues. However I must say the article is high on ick factor and low on facts. I can't even tell to which invertebrate phylum this thing belongs, less any other useful info.

    • ajaxxx says:

      yeah, it's children's bbc. you expected maybe a doctoral thesis?

      thirty seconds with google turns up useful information.

      • ammonoid says:

        So what? Its a continuing annoyance of mine that scientific news stories are so general as to be completely baffeling to people who actually know science. All it takes is a little care to mention specific information, not a doctoral thesis.

        My point wasn't that the information wasn't widely available, but that it wasn't in the article. :P

  14. cadmus says:

    Didn't I give you this link in a comment a day ago??