Last week, I invited you to make nominations for the World’s Cutest Parasite. Here’s a compilation of all of the nominations that I received, in order that I received them. Look through, and then vote on your favorite!
(1) Euhaplorchis californiensis
(2) The adult, non-parasitic stages of botflies.
(3) Giardia was nominated several times (HT Dan Metz, Alex Lee, etc.)
(4) Transversotrema was another popular nomination (HT Kevin Lafferty, etc.; photo by RF Hechinger)
(5) Water mites
(6) Fish tongue isopods
(8) Here’s something crazy hoisted from an email nomination: “There are rust fungi that cause their host to form flowerlike structures (even with nectar) in order to attract insects by which they are dispersed.” (Photo from Wikipedia)
(9) Naegleria fowleri, the brain-eating amoeba, was a nomination pulled from the comments. I guess if you look very closely, like this, it’s cute?
(10) And finally, my nomination: Trichinella nativa. (Photo from Wikipedia)
So, which of these excellent nominations is the World’s Cutest Parasite?