Squawfoot, Strophitus undulatus
This species utilizes the "leghold trap" strategy to catch its host fish. Squawfoot conglutinates are adhesive and stick to the substratum. Each conglutinate consists of roughly 1-15 eggs, usually arranged in single-file. The glochidia "hatch" shortly after release of the conglutinate, but remain tethered to it by short larval threads (similar to a leg-hold trap). The glochidia are large and have prominent hooks, and they attach readily to the fins of benthic fishes. The larval thread is quite strong, and the whole conglutinate may be pulled along if even one glochidium attaches to a fin. At that point, it becomes the "tar baby" strategy as more glochidia may attach to the fin.
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|This female has released a large number of conglutinates that adhere to the dish||These glochidia have emerged from the eggs but remain tethered.||The number of eggs in a conglutinate varies from one to more than a dozen.|
|There are two colors of glochidia!||Note the cavities from which the glochidia have emerged.||The larval thread forms a strong attachment.|
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