Vandelliine trichomycterid catfishes, including V. sanguinea, attach to hosts when feeding but disengage when sated. As a result, their parasitism does not function as a means for travel. However, species of the genus Paracanthopoma, which are in the same family (Trichomycteridae) as Vandellia, have been found to ride pimeloid catfish in the upper Amazon by latching onto the caudal, dorsal, or pectoral regions of the these large, migrating fish (Zuanon and Sazima, 2005). While both V. sanguinea and P. parva possess morphological features that enable them to exploit the blood of their hosts, the stomach contents of P. parva contain only meager amounts of blood, and they adhere to regions of larger catfish that are not blood-rich, indicating they utilize these larger creatures for purposes of travel, unlike their Vandelliine counterparts (Zuanon and Sazima, 2005).
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