Saturday, July 17, 2010

Is there a doctor in the house?

I have been fishing with my father since I was 5.
Occasionally we would find what he called "Doctors".
These strange creatures often lived with the gill space of a fish.
I was always led to believe that they were parasitic, though helpful, to their host.
Below is pictured the creature in question.

This specimen was the largest I had ever seen, measuring over 25mm head to tail.
The multitude of appendages makes it most unusual indeed.

It was found within the innards of its host, a Leather-jacket, whilst I was cleaning my catch from a fishing trip.

I would welcome any input on this strange creature.


  1. Wow, what a creature.
    The last image, bottom right, makes it look like a tick or similar creature.

  2. Hi David,
    Have had a look at your site and have some comments to make (over the next day or two!). Your Doctor is a parasite, a crustacean of the Isopod order and most probably a Leatherjacket -louse, Ourozeuktes owenii (Edwards) which can grow to 52mm for a female. Reference: Hale,H.M., The Crustaceans of South Australia, Parts 1 & 2. 1927-1929. It is possible that the genus, in particular, has changed as the reference is rather old but we still use it. Hope to see something from Dingo Beach soon.


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