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Mike Meads
Forgotten Fauna

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Chapter 5
Nothing in nature stands alone ...
(John Hunter 1786)

Parasitism and commensalism are two of the many complex "give and take" relationships which occur between animals. A parasite lives either internally or externally off the blood and tissue of its host, often to the latter's detriment.
Batwinged cannibal fly
Exul singularis

Batwinged cannibal fly -- Exul singularis
 Among the Diptera, or two-winged flies, the most bizarre are the Anthomyidae or cannibal flies which, as the name suggests, have predatory habits.

Ringlet parasite
Pales sp.
 Ringlet parasite -- Pales sp.
Among the dipteran parasites, the tachinid flies are the most conspicuous; their larvae are universally parasitic, attacking the larvae, nymphs, and sometimes adults of various insects.

 Bat fly
Mystacinobia zelandica
Bat fly -- Mystacinobia zelandica
Like the moa, kiwi, and tuatara, the bat fly, along with its sole provider the short-tailed bat, is unique to New Zealand. It has no close relative in the world that could indicate its place of origin.

Tuatara tick
Aponomma sphenodonti
Tuatara tick -- Aponomma sphenodonti
Ticks are blood-feeding parasites

Blood-sucking mites (Geckobia hoplodactyli) on Duvaucel's gecko.
Blood-sucking mites (Geckobia hoplodactyli) on Duvaucel's gecko.
Photo: Tony Whitaker

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