Common Name: Dactylogyrus vastator
Scientific Name: Dactylogyrus vastator
Species: D. vastator
Dactylogyrus Vastator are roughly 1.25 millimeters long, having 3 pairs of sticky sacs along their body ending with 2 pairs of hooks called Hamuli attached to their lower surface and rear. These flatworms then have four eye spots. Dactylogyrus Vastator flatworms are parasites that host in the gills of Carp species. The adults would lay their eggs in the host's gill cavity. The eggs are then washed out of the cavity and float to the bottom where they mature. The temperature of the water will determine the time it takes for the egg to mature. In waters of 72°-75° it would approximately take 3-5 days for the egg mature. Once developed into a larva, the Dactylogyrus Vastator will swim through the water current to a host-where it will use its hooks to attach itself to the host and live in the gill cavity; the Dactylogyrus Vastator spends its lifetime only with one host, feeding on the mucus, epithelial cells, and the blood of the host.
Author: Molly S
Photo Credit: http://www.geocities.com/steevward/dactyls.html