Tue, 12 Feb 2002 18:04:32 EST
a gruesome and ongoing tale...
i caught a small 6 or 7" lamprey in south chickamauga creek last spring. i
put it in a heavily vegatated 25 gallon tank for a bit of observation. it
promptly disappeared and i figured it either squirmed out and is behind some
boxes dried up and crunchy or had died in the tank and eaten by the crayfish.
well just two or three months ago it reappeared. it must have been hiding out
in the thick plantings. come to think of it i had collected it from a muddy
root mass at the stream bank. i pulled out etnier's book and proceeded to
study its suctioned cupped mouth plastered to the front of the tank glass.
hideous thing. big, porcelan toothed leech. even worse w/ a magnifying glass!
the mouth and teeth drawings in david's book are a bit hard to cipher but it
must be either the ohio or chestnut, as we will see :(... both of which are
found here. i had been hoping it was a non-parasitical... and im sure jamie
was a hoping as well! being a bit slow i had him helping clean and water
change the various aquariums. as he was scrubbing the glass it leaped out and
attached itself to his... just kidding. :)
but really last night i took a look in the tank and the lamprey had attached
itself to one of my prized spot fin shiners right behind the gill plate.
egads... i grabbed a pair of forceps and hoisted up the writhering and
withering consolidation. no luck. just a lot of spashing and gasping by the
spotfin. the lamprey held on sucking the life juices from the its poor
undersized prey. in my dumbfounded ignorance i had not expected this. dang i
got rainbow shiners and flame chubbs in there too. i gave more thought to
removal technique and recovery therapy but decided a visit to the local fish
vet was out of the question. so i left things as they were when the timer
clicked off the lights.
now today... he's hiding out again. waiting.
man if i ever look down and see one of those attached to my legs im gonna
i aint putting that in my cement pond.
now extra cautious casper
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