Cymothoa Exigua

Where Does It Live?

It is found near the gulf of California, south to north of the gulf of Guayaquil, Ecuador.

How Does It Feed?

This parasite attaches itself to the tongue of a fish and sucks the blood from the tongue. Over time not enough blood will be able to reach the tongue so it falls off. The parasite then attaches to the fishes tongue muscles and acts as if it was the tongue.

How Does It Reproduce?

They reproduce sexually in the gills.

What Are Its Hosts Of Choice?

They tend to enjoy feeding off of red snappers more than any other fish.

Special Adaptions To Deal With Its Host?

The Cymothoa Exigua can connect to the fishes tongue muscles and acts as the tongue once its real tongue falls off.


Female: 8-29mm long

Male: 7.5-15mm long

Interesting Facts!!!!!!!!!! :)

1. This parasite makes its way to the mouth by entering athrough the gills of the fish.     2. These parasites can change their sex. Female------->Male------>Female.                         3. They can reproduce in the gills and while on the tongue.