The shrimp-eating parasite Orthione griffenis has reached the northern waters of the Pacific Ocean. Experts have discovered a dangerous isopod near Calvert Island in British Columbia.
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This parasite is native to Russia and Asia and is a very dangerous animal. Over the past 30 years, isopods have wiped out entire populations of mud shrimp in the vicinity of California and Washington, leading to the destruction of the region's fragile ecosystems. By the “zero” parasite reached Vancouver Island. Now oceanographers have found it near Calvert. According to experts, this is the largest jump in the movement of the parasite in the northern direction, which was approximately 300 kilometers. Surprising for scientists is the fact that earlier they mistakenly believed that the isopod moves exclusively with the help of man-controlled transport, and in the ocean it overcomes distances in the ballast vessels of ships. Evidence from a recent discovery suggests that the parasite moves well on its own.
Orthione griffenis at the initial stage of its existence is attached to intermediate hosts – copepods. Then he begins to travel in search of shrimp. In adulthood, the parasite enters the gills of the mud shrimp Upogebia pugettensis, after which it actively devours it from the inside, sucking blood. Individuals infected with an isopod are deprived of energy and cannot reproduce.
Scientists continue to track the movement of this parasite. They suggest that after reaching the northern coast of British Columbia, it will continue to move towards Alaska, which is considered the upper limit of the range of mud shrimp.