Category: Nature Photography
Posted: April 23, 2022

Grey Heron + a River Lamprey in the Dodder

Grey Heron + River Lamprey

by Susan F. M. T. Interested in this? Contact The Artist

Grey Heron ~ Ardea cinerea +it's catch a River Lamprey ~ Lampetra fluviatilis still wriggling in the Dodder.
The river lamprey is native to Ireland, and it is distributed throughout Europe. Like all lampreys, they lack gill covers or paired fins and have an oral sucker disc instead of a mouth with jaws.
River lamprey spawn in rivers in mid to late spring in nests called redds, which they evacuate from the bed of gravelly or sandy rivers using their suckers to remove stones. After hatching, larval lamprey drift downstream until they find a suitable muddy or silty part of the riverbed to burrow into. Lamprey then spend several years in a blind, worm-like juvenile form known as ammocoetes, which filter feed microscopic organisms from the water and mud. After about four years, river lamprey ammocoetes develop eyes and turn silvery, transforming into free-swimming adults as they make their way downstream and migrate to sea.
Adult river lamprey are external parasites that attach to host fish with their oral disc to feed on their flesh and blood. River lamprey remain relatively close to the coast for about 18 months before migrating back up into the river to spawn.
Information from Fisheries of Ireland.

Although they are not considered to be at risk in this country, impacts including pollution, instream works in river channels and barriers to migration remain potential threats to river lamprey.
Post Type: Photography
Mixed Media: Minor Using frames in Corel Paintshop Pro 2020 I framed it edging the frame with a colour found within the picture & added text.

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Grey Heron + River Lamprey by Susan F. M. T.
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