The Vandelliinae are a subfamily of catfishes (order Siluriformes) of the family Trichomycteridae. Vandelliines are hematophagous, feeding on the blood of larger fish. Members of this subfamily may be known as candirú, notorious for occasionally entering human bodily orifices, particularly the urethra; there is no evidence that such attacks are anything more than rare and accidental perversions of the usual feeding behaviour of the parasite — it seems unlikely that it would survive in the human body for long, so such an entry should be disastrous for both parties. In the usual course of events parasitic Vandelliines enter the body cavities of host fishes, feed on blood from gill filaments, and leave again.
Vandelliines usually parasitise ostariophysan fishes such as pimelodids, doradids, and characins. The eyes of Vandelliinae species are relatively large among catfishes, indicating that sight may be important in prey detection.
- Nelson, Joseph S. (2006). Fishes of the World. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN 0-471-25031-7.
- Spotte, Stephen; Petry, Paulo; Zuanon, Jansen A.S. (2001). "Experiments on the feeding behavior of the hematophagous candiru, Vandellia cf. plazaii". Environmental Biology of Fishes 60 (4): 459–464. DOI:10.1023/A:1011081027565.
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