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Comprehensive Description

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The common name candiru is given to the genus Vandellia, comprising a group of miniscule catfish that possess physical features suited to preying off the blood of live fish (Breault, 1991). Given their nocturnal tendencies and habitation of murky waters, these fish rely on chemoattractants such as urea or ammonia to locate ammonotelic prey items, those that excrete nitrogenous wastes (Spotte et al., 2000). Specimens of this genus have become notorious for their ability to penetrate various orifices, including those of humans, in their search for food (Gudger, 1930).

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