Candiru facts and data. Know Candiru food plan, habitat, behaviour taxonomy, and so forth See attention-grabbing facts of Candiru in our animal facts archive.

Scientific identify: Vandellia cirrhosa
Scientific classification: Phylum: Chordata Class: Actinopterygii Order: Siluriformes Family: Trichomycteridae

What does it appear to be?
Candirús are small fish. Adults develop to solely 15 cm with a somewhat small head and a stomach that may seem distended, particularly after a heavy meal. The physique can also be somewhat translucent making it fairly tough to see within the water. There are brief, sensory barbels across the head, along with brief backward pointing spines on the gill covers.

Where does it stay?
The candirú is native to South America the place it may be discovered within the gradual fl owing waters of the Amazon and Orinoco rivers and their tributaries.

Characteristics

Few animals are shrouded in as a lot fantasy and fable because the candirú fish. For a few years, vacationers to the Amazon have instructed tales of a fish with some very grisly habits. Stories apart, the candirú is a really attention-grabbing fish. It is among the solely identified, wholly parasitic vertebrates. It relies on different residing animals, usually greater fish, for its sustenance. In the cloudy, sluggish waters of the decrease Amazon, the candirú spends a lot of its time, on or close to the underside. The water is permeated by a complete vary of diff erent odors. Some emanate from decaying matter littering the river backside, whereas others drift from the our bodies of residing animals. Tiny molecules of ammonia in bodily fl uids discover their means into the candirú’s nostrils. To this small fish these odors are the nasal equal of a dinner bell. It follows the path of molecules to its supply, which seems to be a hefty Amazonian river fish, many occasions the scale of the candirú. Not wanting to alarm its quarry the candirú swims tentatively up to the realm behind the pinnacle, the place the massive gill covers open and shut circulating water to the fish’s respiratory constructions. As the gill covers open the candirú seizes its second and darts underneath, into the massive fish’s gill cavity. The candirú sinks its jaws into the blood wealthy tissues of the gills and feeds on the fl esh and blood. The large fish is powerless. It should merely bear what absolutely have to be a really painful expertise because the little parasitic candirú gnaws its gills. The host’s torment will solely stop when the candirú has a full stomach and slips from beneath the gill covers to relaxation on the river mattress the place it can digest its meal. This is the candirú’s pure conduct, however the native people of the Amazon and those that have heard tales inform of a diff erent conduct assured to ship a shiver via the backbone of even essentially the most hardened river bather. In the identical means the candirú finds its regular quarry, it could comply with scent trails to discover an individual on the finish of it as an alternative of a giant fish. Urea within the particular person’s urine is assumed to be what will get the candirú’s nostrils twitching, however as an alternative of a gill cowl to swim beneath, it finds the urethra, the tube from which urine is handed, or maybe the anus, and darts proper up, in to the darkness. It feeds on the delicate tissues till replete or till the sufferer’s protestations power it to query its alternative of quarry. Unfortunately, the passages it swam up are a good match and if it tries to again out, the backward pointing spines on its physique preserve it fastened in place. This is how the tales go no less than and up till somewhat lately that is all they have been, tales. However, an unlucky man in Brazil was bathing within the river and determined he wanted to urinate. No sooner had he began to relieve himself than a candirú shot straight up his urethra. A surgeon within the close by metropolis of Manaus had to function on the person to dislodge the fish from inside his penis. So, it appears there's some reality within the legends surrounding the candirú.

Key Facts

  • The candirú is a kind of pencil catfish of which there are greater than 180 species. In precise truth, the large expanse of the Amazon basin with its enormous number of freshwater habitats is dwelling to no less than 700 species of freshwater fish. Undoubtedly, the cloudy waters and enormous expanses of impenetrable waterways of the Amazon make this a haven for a lot of extra fish which can be, as but, unknown to science.
  • Several, very comparable species of pencil catfish could have the identical parasitic conduct because the candirú.
  • Apart from the identify candirú, the fish is also referred to as the carnero, canero, or vampire catfish.
  • The candirú, like its kinfolk shuns the sunshine and burrows in to the mud and silt of the river mattress, solely rising to feed and discover a mate. The different species on this household feed on small invertebrates they discover within the river detritus.
  • Locals know of the candirú’s tendencies so properly that there's apparently a natural treatment for a properly lodged candirú. The leaves of the jagua plant (Genipa americana) and the fruit of one other Amazonian plant are mixed to make a preparation inserted into the place the fish has lodged itself. The energetic components within the crops, that are very acidic, allegedly dissolve the physique of the fish. This miracle treatment has not been investigated, so it's tough to know whether or not it's true. It can also be mentioned that this preparation can be utilized to dissolve kidney stones. The possibilities of a candirú coming into the penis, vagina or rectum of an individual are very slim certainly and it needs to be confused just one documented case is understood.
  • Apart from the grisly feeding conduct of the candirú little or no is understood about the remainder of its life. This can also be the case for the overwhelming majority of Amazonian fish. Many are caught for consuming, however there's scant data on what they do within the wild.