(also spelled Lernea
) is a genus of copepod crustaceans
commonly called anchor worms
, parasitic on freshwater
fishes. They mate during the last free-swimming (copepodid
) stage of development. After mating, the female burrows into the flesh of a fish and transforms into an unsegmented, wormlike form, usually with a portion hanging from the fish's body.
Fish Lice Encarta