NANFA-- Lamprey attacks

Fritz Rohde (
Tue, 31 Jul 2001 16:13:24 -0400

I have studied and collected lampreys since 1971. There is nothing in
the scientific literature that I am aware of that documents parasitic
lampreys "attacking" humans. I have had nonparasitic lampreys attach to
me as I was piking them out of the nets and while I was initially
startled, it was nothing more than a tickle. It's quite likely the WA
specimen attached for some reason other than feeding. The teeth in the
oral disc provide a method of attaching to a fish. It's the "teeth" on
the tounge that bore a hole into the side of fish so it can feed. If
the WA lamprey did indeed bore into the leg, then it was attempting to
feed. As for the interesting story of lampreys attacking and sinking a
boat, now that's a real good one. Save it for the social hour after the
NANFA banquet.

Fritz Rohde
Wilmington, NC

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