A group of researchers from the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) has recently discovered a new species of parasite — fish parasitic isopod which they have named after their teacher, Dr Mohamed Hatha, as a homage to his contribution to science.
The new species, Norileca Hathai, was discovered in the Indian Ocean by Dr Hatha’s students and researchers Nashad M, Dr Aneesh PP, Prof Bijukumar A, and Dr K Bineesh. Dr Hatha is currently the head of the department of Marine Biology, CUSAT, and has been involved in the study of microbial pathogens for over 25 years.
The findings of the new species discovery have been published in the recent edition of the leading international journal Marine Biodiversity Records, reported a leading news daily. Detailing the features of the organism, Nashad said that Norileca Hathai have a pale tan body with large dark stripes posteriorly and can grow up to 12 to 15 mm in size. It attaches to the host using its pointed appendages called pereopods and feeds on fish blood but without killing the host.