"So, naturalists observe, a flea has smaller fleas that on him prey; and these have smaller still to bite ’em; and so proceed ad infinitum."
- Jonathan Swift

October 2, 2010

October 2 - Peachia parasitica

Peachia is a genus of anemones, but very different from the big gentle waving sort you see on coral reefs, with happy families of Nemo-like anemone fishes frolicking in them. No, Peachia is a parasite, one of very few parasitic anemones. Who falls victim to a parasitic anemone? Another cnidarian: the jellyfish, Cyanea capillata. I’ve seen them in sea nettles (Chrysaora sp.), too. The few publications of Peachia suggest that it may be a facultative parasite; McDermott et al describe one that lived for 4 years in the lab. Peachia is just another fine example showing how many times parasitism has arisen in the evolutionary history of life on this planet.

McDermott, J.J. et al. (1982) The occurrence of the anemone Peachia parasitica as a symbiont in the scyphozoan Cyanea capillata in the lower Chesapeake Bay. Estuaries 5(4):319-321.

Contributed by Al Dove.

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