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Bloodsuckers (30) More files...
Hematophagy is the practice of feeding on blood. Since blood is a fluid tissue rich in nutritious proteins and lipids that can be taken without great effort, hematophagy is a preferred form of feeding for many small animals such as the familiar mosquito, leech and bedbug. This gallery features some of the expected hungry creatures but some unusual ones as well. A Dracula Ant worker punctures the skin of a larva to sip its trickling blood, Galapagos Vampire Finches feeding on the blood of boobies from wounds the finches have created and parasitic isopods that latch onto fish puncturing their skin and feasting on their blood. Yes, some photos could be considered gross but all animals must survive!
Equatorial Anole (Anolis aequatorialis) with a bloodsucking insect on its head, Andes, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00436439 Equatorial Anole (Anolis aequatorialis) with a bloodsucking insect on its head, Andes, Ecuador© James Christensen
Vampire Bat (Desmodus rotundus) portrait, Costa Rica  -  Michael & Patricia Fogden
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00510832 Vampire Bat (Desmodus rotundus) portrait, Costa Rica© Michael & Patricia Fogden
Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) group infested with Honeybee Mites (Varroa destructor), the most devestating pest to honeybees worldwide.  -  Mark Moffett
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00463080 Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) group infested with Honeybee Mites (Varroa destructor), the most devestating pest to honeybees worldwide.© Mark Moffett
Wingless Bat Fly (Penicillidia sp) on head of Long-winged Bat (Miniopterus mossambicus), Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique
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00586048 Wingless Bat Fly (Penicillidia sp) on head of Long-winged Bat (Miniopterus mossambicus), Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique© Piotr Naskrecki
Assassin Bug (Platymeris biguttata) with cockroach prey, Africa  -  Stephen Dalton
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00770542 Assassin Bug (Platymeris biguttata) with cockroach prey, Africa© Stephen Dalton
Blue Chromis (Chromis cyanea) with parasite, Dominican Republic, Caribbean
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00562196 Blue Chromis (Chromis cyanea) with parasite, Dominican Republic, Caribbean© Ron Offermans/ Buiten-beeld
False Clown Anemonefish (Amphiprion ocellaris), with Tongue-biter Cymathoid Isopod (Cymothoa exigua) parasite on tongue in Magnificent Sea Anemone (Heteractis magnifica), Pintu Colada dive site, Lembe...
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80200762 False Clown Anemonefish (Amphiprion ocellaris), with Tongue-biter Cymathoid Isopod (Cymothoa exigua) parasite on tongue in Magnificent Sea Anemone (Heteractis magnifica), Pintu Colada dive site, Lembe...© Colin Marshall
Lemon Damsel (Pomacentrus moluccensis) adult, with parasite attached, swimming in reef, Wetar Island, Barat Daya Islands, Lesser Sunda Islands, Maluku Province, Indonesia  -  Colin Marshall/ FLPA
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80144154 Lemon Damsel (Pomacentrus moluccensis) adult, with parasite attached, swimming in reef, Wetar Island, Barat Daya Islands, Lesser Sunda Islands, Maluku Province, Indonesia© Colin Marshall / FLPA
Human Louse (Pediculus humanus) SEM close-up view of individual between human hair at 28x magnification  -  Albert Lleal
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00780312 Human Louse (Pediculus humanus) SEM close-up view of individual between human hair at 28x magnification© Albert Lleal
Lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) mouth showing teetch, Wieringermeer, Netherlands  -  Wil Meinderts/ Buiten-beeld
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00515988 Lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) mouth showing teetch, Wieringermeer, Netherlands© Wil Meinderts/ Buiten-beeld
Mosquito (Culicidae) females feeding on Common Frog (Rana temporaria) blood, Wolvega, Netherlands
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00569755 Mosquito (Culicidae) females feeding on Common Frog (Rana temporaria) blood, Wolvega, Netherlands© Ruurd Jelle van der Leij/ Buiten-beeld
Indonesian leech, Indonesia  -  Konrad Wothe
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00194527 Indonesian leech, Indonesia© Konrad Wothe
Banana Spider (Nephila clavipes) juvenile with parasitic larva, Taironaka Lodge, Colombia
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00579531 Banana Spider (Nephila clavipes) juvenile with parasitic larva, Taironaka Lodge, Colombia© Paul Bertner
Red Mason Bee (Osmia rufa) adult, infested with parasitic mites, Leicestershire, England  -  Matthew Cole/ FLPA
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80092007 Red Mason Bee (Osmia rufa) adult, infested with parasitic mites, Leicestershire, England© Matt Cole / FLPA
Sharp-beaked Ground-Finch (Geospiza difficilis) drawing blood from Nazca Booby (Sula granti) feathers as a feeding adaptation during arid conditions, Wolf Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador  -  Tui De Roy
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00143762 Sharp-beaked Ground-Finch (Geospiza difficilis) drawing blood from Nazca Booby (Sula granti) feathers as a feeding adaptation during arid conditions, Wolf Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador© Tui De Roy
Dracula Ant (Amblyopone sp) worker puncturing the skin of a larva to sip its trickling blood, this behavior does not seem to harm the larva, but feeds the adults, Muller Range, Papua New Guinea  -  Piotr Naskrecki
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00479012 Dracula Ant (Amblyopone sp) worker puncturing the skin of a larva to sip its trickling blood, this behavior does not seem to harm the larva, but feeds the adults, Muller Range, Papua New Guinea© Piotr Naskrecki
Dracula Ant (Amblyopone sp) worker puncturing the skin of a larva to sip its trickling blood, this behavior does not seem to harm the larva, but feeds the adults, Papua New Guinea  -  Piotr Naskrecki
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00477036 Dracula Ant (Amblyopone sp) worker puncturing the skin of a larva to sip its trickling blood, this behavior does not seem to harm the larva, but feeds the adults, Papua New Guinea© Piotr Naskrecki
Assassin Bug (Reduviidae) feeding on ant prey, Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique
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00586071 Assassin Bug (Reduviidae) feeding on ant prey, Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique© Piotr Naskrecki
Little Blue Penguin (Eudyptula minor) chick with ticks during molt, Phillip Island, Australia  -  D. Parer & E. Parer-Cook
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00512652 Little Blue Penguin (Eudyptula minor) chick with ticks during molt, Phillip Island, Australia© D. Parer & E. Parer-Cook
Sharp-beaked Ground-Finch (Geospiza difficilis) drawing blood from base of Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra) feathers, an adaptation unique to Wenman Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador  -  Tui De Roy
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00140720 Sharp-beaked Ground-Finch (Geospiza difficilis) drawing blood from base of Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra) feathers, an adaptation unique to Wenman Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador© Tui De Roy
Lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) in parasite phase feeds on fish by rasping through their skin, Salmon River at Lake Champlain, New York  -  Norbert Wu
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00135246 Lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) in parasite phase feeds on fish by rasping through their skin, Salmon River at Lake Champlain, New York© Norbert Wu
Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus) with barnacles and whale lice, Baja California, Mexico  -  Hiroya Minakuchi
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00481465 Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus) with barnacles and whale lice, Baja California, Mexico© Hiroya Minakuchi
Harlequin Beetle (Acrocinus longimanus) with mites hanging on to be able to move to different places in a behavior called phoresy, Acarai Mountains, Guyana  -  Piotr Naskrecki
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00298522 Harlequin Beetle (Acrocinus longimanus) with mites hanging on to be able to move to different places in a behavior called phoresy, Acarai Mountains, Guyana© Piotr Naskrecki
Coconut Crab (Birgus latro) with an abundance of insect parasites, parasitic flies can attack terrestrial crustaceans as shown by these fly pupae, Solomon Islands  -  Piotr Naskrecki
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00298068 Coconut Crab (Birgus latro) with an abundance of insect parasites, parasitic flies can attack terrestrial crustaceans as shown by these fly pupae, Solomon Islands© Piotr Naskrecki
Western Long-eared Myotis (Myotis evotis) bat, adult with ear mites, Deschutes National Forest, Oregon  -  Michael Durham
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00640068 Western Long-eared Myotis (Myotis evotis) bat, adult with ear mites, Deschutes National Forest, Oregon© Michael Durham
Fruit Fly (Tephritidae) pair mating, with mite on back, Gunung Leuser National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia
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00572489 Fruit Fly (Tephritidae) pair mating, with mite on back, Gunung Leuser National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia© Paul Bertner
Blood-sucking Bug (Cimex sp) adult, parasitic on pipistrelle bat, Lajuma, Soutpansberg, Limpopo Province, South Africa  -  Chris & Tilde Stuart/ FLPA
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80096413 Blood-sucking Bug (Cimex sp) adult, parasitic on pipistrelle bat, Lajuma, Soutpansberg, Limpopo Province, South Africa© Chris & Tilde Stuart / FLPA
Tiger Leech (Haemadipsa picta) adult, feeding on blood from human leg, in primary rainforest, Danum Valley, Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia  -  Hugh Lansdown/ FLPA
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80059835 Tiger Leech (Haemadipsa picta) adult, feeding on blood from human leg, in primary rainforest, Danum Valley, Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia© Hugh Lansdown/ FLPA
Yellow Fever Mosquito (Aedes aegypti) female feeding on human blood, Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique  -  Piotr Naskrecki
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00496586 Yellow Fever Mosquito (Aedes aegypti) female feeding on human blood, Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique© Piotr Naskrecki
Tick sp close-up of dog-tick on human skin  -  l Lee Rue/ FLPA
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80005417 Tick sp close-up of dog-tick on human skin© L Lee Rue / FLPA
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