Exact data on the water depth could only be obtained indirectly from the water depth of the sacrificial animals, such as the deep-sea tugboat Pristipomoides filamentosus.
Anilocra gigantea usually prefers larger fish such as deep-sea snapper and groupers. A large parasite needs hosts with a larger body mass and a lot of usable body fluid.
The hosts of the large woodlouse include:
Ruby snapper (Etelis carbunculus Cuvier, 1828)
Golden-eyed jobfish (Pristipomoides flavipinnis Shinohara, 1963)
Purple snapper (Pristipomoides filamentosus (Valenciennes, 1830)
Various groupers (Epinephalus sp.)
Anilocra gigantea is a parasitic fish assassin, which actively and with a rather fast speed swims by swimming fish, often in groups of several animals (very often in the head area of the fish) and bites the new host in a flash.
The woodlouse continuously sucks blood and cell juices from the fish's body and feeds on these fluids.
Usually these parasitic isopods only leave their host when "there is nothing left to get", i.e. when the host fish is so weakened by constant bloodletting that it dies.
Depending on the state of health and strength of the fish, the decline lasts longer or shorter.
With a size of up to 10 cm, even the usual cleaner fish such as wrasses are usually no longer of any help.
Our special thanks for the use of his photo from New Caledonia go to Prof. Dr. Jean-Lou Justine of the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris.
Synonym: Epichthys gigantea (Herklots, 1870)