Friday, October 15, 2010

The Blue Ringed Octopus (Hapalochlaena lunulata or Hapalochlaena Maculosa) is found if the phylum mollusca, class cephalopoda. Though it is one of the smallest cephalopods, it is easily the deadliest.

The octopus can only be found in waters from Australia south, in depths of up to 50 meters. typically known as an indo pacific animal, rare sightings have occurred in the Atlantic. Some marine biologists think that those sightings were just released “pets”

The Octopus in gerneral is considered a highly intelligent animal by biologists around the world. This is accomplished in part by a larger brain than most invertebrates. Besides being smarter than other invertebrates, the ability for an octopus to camouflage itself, I believe, is second to none. this amazing ability to camouflage exponentially increases its ability to survive against predators in the wild, as well as effectively ambush prey, the octopus’ preferred method of hunting.
Another way that the octopus can protect itself from predator is the ink sac it has stored in the mantle, or head, just above the anus. if threatened, the octopus can eject ink through the Siphon on the side of the mantle, filling the surrounding water with ink, confusing the predator, and causing the octopus to have a safe getaway.
The Blue Ringed Octopus’ diet mainly of small fish, shrimp, prawns, and other small crustaceans.

Perhaps the most stunning defense mechanism of the Blue Ringed Octopus is its venom and the deadly venom it contains. The poison is call Tetradotoxin,and it is found in the saliva of the octopus.

It is a paralzing venom also found in pufferfish that inhibits motor skill, such as movement of your arms, legs, and even mouth. Victims have reported full consciousness during this, without pain, but if not treated immediately, it can lead to respiratory arrest within one hour. there is no anti-venom for the blue ring, and the only way to stop it is to give artificial breathing immediately until the poison is out of their system, usually within 24 hours.
The blue ring’s gonads are also located in the mantle, and reproduction is by a male inserting on of his arms called a hectocotylus into the females mantle after pouncing on her. The spermophores on the males arm are released into the eggs of the female, and within a few weeks, the female lays 50-100 eggs. after a 40 day brooding period, the female gives birth to free swimming larvae called paralarvae, and swim around for a month, gaining weight, and then settle to the bottom and live the rest of their life. the female will die shortly after giving birth.

“We studied the reproductive behaviour of the blue-ringed octopus, Hapalochlaena lunulata, in the laboratory by examining 15 male–male and nine male–female interactions. The initiation of physical contact was independent of sex, size or residency status, and there were no noticeable changes in behaviour such as sexual displays associated with courtship or aggression prior to contact. Males did not distinguish between females or other males and copulated (defined as the insertion of the hectocotylus into the mantle cavity of another octopus) readily with both. Spermatophores were released in all copulations with females but not with males. The duration of copulation was significantly longer in male–female interactions (median 160.5 min) than in male–male interactions (median 30 s). Although male–male copulations ended passively with the withdrawal of the hectocotylus by the initiating animal, male–female copulations were always terminated by the females following an intense struggle. These studies suggest the inability of male H. lunulata to determine the sexual identity of potential mates prior to the insertion of the hectocotylus and demonstrate the active role of the female during copulation.”

During this experiment/study, marine biologists looked at sexual encounters with blue ringed octopus’. they realized that the original mating tactic of insterting the hectocotylus, but the encounter time was very different. male to male was 30 seconds, while male to female was very long, at 160.5 minutes. as well as the way the act was ended. male to male, by choice. male to female was ended by a long struggle by the female.

Aside from an estimated 50-100 deaths per year, the blue ringed octopus does not have much of an impact on the world other than its valuable place in the ecosystem. But as far as human are concerned, they are inedible, very small, and have no economic value other than a pretty picture to sell on postcards. These things true, the Blue Ringed octopus is a beautiful, majestic creature, and hopefully will stay in the ecosystem for a long long time.

Pistol Shrimp

My organism is the Alpheus Armadus (Animalia Arthropoda Malacostraca Decapoda Alpheidae Alpheus Armadus), AKA: Pistol Shrimp. The Pistol Shrimp is part of the phylum Arthropod meaning that it has an exoskeleton, a segmented body, and jointed appendages. The Pistol Shrimp can be found in the Atlantic Ocean, the West Indies, the Bahamas, and Southern Florida. Comfortable in shallow coral reefs from 74 to 79F, the Pistol Shrimp usually digs a cave next to a sea anemone called Baratholomea Annulata .


Form and Function:
The Pistol Shrimps unique claw design is both its protection and its way of obtaining food. As the shrimp opens his claw the upper joint is cocked back in place like a pistol. When the claw snaps shuts it creates a burst of bubbles, as the bubbles collapse they temporarily reach the temperature of the sun (9000 degrees c). This action creates a sound wave that acts as a bullet underwater that travels over 100km/h and can kill or stun pray over six feet away. Some Pistol Shrimp have even been seen killing crabs. The sound produced by the pistol shrimp is louder than a jet at take off and can disrupt the sonic transmissions of submarines!

Impact on the human world:
Pistol Shrimp have little to no effect on humans directly, other than the disturbance of a submarines sonic transmissions underwater.

Journal Article Review:
A pair of pistol shrimp were found off the coast of the UK. This was extremely odd because these shrimp are usually found in warm tropical waters. It was predicted that the pair were carried by a passing ship over the Atlantic as larva. The shrimp were able to produce sounds of over 118 decibels, the loudest of all marine organisms.

Bibliography :
Derbyshire, D. (2008, November 13). Deadly pistol shrimp that stuns prey with sound as loud as Concorde found in UK waters. Retrieved January 1, , from
Dolphin, C. (Date N/A). Alpheus armatus. Retrieved January 1, , from weiis organics:
Sonefe69, (Date N/A). Pistol Shrimp. Retrieved January 1, , from

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Bot Fly-Sarah Hurtado

I. Introduction:

The Dermatobia hominis, commonly known as the botfly, is a member of the family Cuterebridae. There are approximately 150 known species in the world. All the families of the botfly produce larvae that live as parasites within the bodies of humans or other mammals. The botfly is most commonly found in warm and damp climates such as Brazil and Chile. They are not strictly limited to this area and other countries with botfly encounters include Afghanistan, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Canada, and even the United States.

II. Anatomy:

The botfly is just under an inch long, hairy, it has a yellow face, orange legs, a metallic blue abdomen, and a round-like body that has similar physical qualities of a bumblebee. The Botfly strongly resembles a normal house fly except for its larger body shape. The maggots that are produced by the bot fly and later hatched on humans, resemble a normal maggot and are about the size of a dime. They have rings of black spines that allow them to stay latched inside human flesh as well as a small pin hole that allows them to breathe while they are burrowed beneath the skin. (Figure 1; left, shows the small pinhole that allows the maggots to breathe. Figure 2; right, shows the spines that surround the body to help the maggot latch to the skin.)

III. Form & Function:

The human botfly has one of the most interesting ways of reproducing. Because of its large size, the botfly would be easily recognized if it landed on its host and too slow to fly away, so for this reason it needs a “transporter” for its eggs. The botfly captures a mosquito and lays about 30 eggs on the mosquito which are attached by an adhesive the fly produces. When the mosquito lands on a human, the body heat of the human causes the adhesive to melt and the eggs to hatch. The larvae then cling themselves onto the person’s skin. The maggots then begin to eat their way through the human flesh and muscle tissue and hold themselves in place by tiny hooks surrounding their bodies. A large, inflamed, pimple looking blemish appears at the site of the infestation of the botfly. After about 6 weeks the botfly is fully fed and begins to eat their way out and drop to the ground. Adult botflies emerge from the pupas in about 20 days. The adult lifespan of a botfly is only about 9 days so they must quickly seek another botfly to mate with before it dies. The botfly exhibits sexual size dimorphism with adult males being larger than females. They are most likely to reproduce during a warm/wet season. Adult botflies have nonfunctional mouth parts and do not feed. (Figure 3; left, shows a mosquito landing on a human while the body warmth melts the adhesive and the maggots are on the skin. Figure 4; right, shows the maggot burrowing in the skin and the breathing hole above the skin as well as the black spines.)

IV. Impact on the World/Humanity:

After the adult bot fly attaches its eggs to a host and the host lands on a human, the eggs are released and the maggots begin to burrow in the flesh. The maggots leave a hole so that they can breathe and by doing this they form a large boil and cause serious pain. The maggots secrete an antibiotic to defend themselves against infection while they feed. If undisturbed, the maggot will remain in the human for 6-8 weeks and then fall out. They are very difficult to remove because of the hooks that surround their bodies. The only way to remove the maggot is to suffocate it by covering up its breathing hole with tape or glue. The worst way to attempt to remove the maggot, is by simply trying to pull it out because it may burst and the pieces left behind can lead to an infection. Depending on where the maggot burrows, it can cause serious tissue damage, but otherwise it will just leave behind a scar.

V. Journal Article Review:

This article is about a child who had a living maggot in his eye and was under the impression it was a dust particle. The child began to itch is eye and rub it thinking that it was dust, dirt, or maybe even an eyelash. He began using drops from the pharmacy until his eye got so swollen he couldn’t see out of it. He went to the doctor and the doctor wanted to perform surgery right away because he was under the impression it may be a cyst. During the surgery, the doctor discovered it was not a dust particle, but a live maggot burrowing and feeding in this child’s eye. (Figure 5; left, shows the removal of the maggot from the eye.)

Video Link

Works Cited

Botfly. (2010). Wikipedia. Retrieved October 14, 2010, from

Human botfly, bot fly, torsalo, dermatobia hominis. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Willis, B. (1996). The human bot fly. Retrieved from

Life cyce of a bot fly. (1999). Retrieved from

Abstract. (n.d.). Retrieved from

The Silkmoth

By Connie Gould


The silkmoth is classified under the phylum Arthropoda, and there are two distinct types: the domesticated silkmoth (Bombyx mori) and the wild silkmoth (Bombyx mandarina). The wild silkmoth originated in Asia, in areas such as northern India, China, Korea, Japan, and eastern Russia. It is thought that the domesticated silkmoth came into existence over 5,000 years ago when the Chinese began practicing sericulture (silk farming, or the raising of silkworms to make silk). As a result of domestication, the domesticated silkworm (larva form of silkmoth) cannot reproduce without the assistance of humans. However, upon completing the cocoon stage of developing and become silkmoths, silkworms have the capability of reproducing naturally (reproduction amongst the species can only be done in adult form). There have also been cases of wild and domesticated silkmoths reproducing and forming hybrids. The silkworm can grow up to three inches in length.


In larva (or silkworm) form, the silkmoth has a worm-like appearance with a short anal horn, and it has three distinct body parts: the head, the thorax, and the abdomen. The silkworm has three pairs of short, jointed legs, with a claw at each tip. These legs are found on the three body segments behind the head. There are also five pairs of prolegs that end in a series of hooks called crockets, which are located at the rear end and on the abdomen. The purpose of these legs is to help the silkworm with climbing and holding on to plants. After the silkworm goes through the cocoon stage and becomes a silkmoth (which I will explain in more detail in the next section), it has creamy white wings with brown patterns; the wingspan is about 50mm. Their bodies also become very hairy. Male silkmoths tend to be smaller, but more active than their female counterparts, who are larger, but less active.

Form and Function

Silkmoth eggs take about fourteen days to hatch, and after hatching, they go through three main stages of life: larva, pupa, and adult. During their larva stage of life, silkmoths go through four molts, the process by which old skin is shedded off and replaced with a new layer. The preferred diet of the silkmoth, in both larvae and adult form, are the leaves of the white mulberry tree (Morus alba), although they will readily eat any type of mulberry leaf. Silkworms produce silk by secreting thread from small holes in their jaws; the entire process takes only 72 hours. The pupa stage of the development of a silkmoth occurs when it reaches about one month of age; when they are ready to start spinning the cocoon they will often stop eating and will turn a yellowish colour. The silk used to produce the cocoon is actually hardened silkworm saliva that is discharged through the organism’s mouth. All it takes is a single strand of this silk from the silkworm’s mouth to forms its cocoon; the total length of the strand of silk used to form the cocoon can be as long as a mile. They then spend three weeks in the cocoon, shedding their skin and developing into a moth. The fully developed silkmoth then emerges by secreting a special type of saliva that dissolve the cocoon. The silkmoth will frequently urinate a reddish-brown fluid right after emerging from its cocoon, because it is naturally going to want to “use the bathroom” after being stuck in a cocoon for three weeks. Silkmoths reproduce sexually; by attaching together at their abdomens. The male uses short appendages on his anus to hold on to the female. During this process, a sac called the “spermatophore” is passed through the male moth’s reproductive organs. This sac contains sperm and nutrients for the embryo. The female silkmoth then stores the sac in the bursa copulatrix. The female silkmoth also has eggs inside her body, and shortly after the sperm from the male’s sac fertilizes the eggs, she will lay them. The female silkmoth can lay anywhere between 200 and 500 eggs, which will hatch into silkworms and carry on the lifecycle. Unfortunately for the silkmoth, it usually dies only a few days after mating and laying its eggs.

Impact on the World/Humanity

Silkmoths and their larva form, the silkworm, have had a profound impact on humanity for thousands of years. Sericulture (silk farming) began in China over 5,000 years ago. The Chinese managed to keep this a secret from much of the rest of the world, but eventually the cat was let out of the bag, and silk farming spread to Europe and other parts of Asia. The silk that was produced by silkworms generated significant money in old societies through trade, and continues even today to be of economic value in many Asian countries.

Journal Article Review

Silkworms are the larva of the silkmoth, and they are native to Asia. Silkworms are crucial in sustaining the silk industry worldwide. Within 28-30 days after hatching from their eggs, they begin to spin a cocoon, which they remain in for 2-3 weeks. The silkworm is a very gentle creature, and will not bite, but needs to be handled with care, as they are very susceptible to bruising. They go through four primary stages of development: egg, larva, pupa, adult. The cocoon they spin about a month after they hatch is what they develop from a larva to an adult in. Today, silkworms are domesticated, and live only in captivity, although they have close ancestors still in the wild. For mating, the female silkmoth releases pheromones, and the male silkmoth detects these chemicals, sometimes from long distances, so the male knows where to find the female. Although it is best to feed silkworms regularly, they are able to go without food for a week. There ideal living temperature is anywhere between 78°F and 88°F, although humidity should be kept to a minimum.



· Bombyx Mori – Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia (n.d.) Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved October 12, 2010, from

· Silkworm Information – Insected Arizona, UA Center for Insect Science Education Outreach (n.d.) Insected Arizona, UA Center for Insect Science Education Outreach. Retrieved October 11, 2010, from

· Silkworm Cocoon – Articles on Cocoon (n.d.) Articles on Cocoon. Retrieved October 12, 2010 from

· Journal Article Review: General Information, Caring For and Breeding Silkworms (n.d.) The Silkworm Shop. Retrieved October 14, 2010 from

· Pictures from:


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(The Common Octopus)

By: Alek


Octopus vulgaris, or the common octopus, is located world wide in many coastal waters. These waters are generally tropical or semi-tropical, and tend to be as shallow as 200 meters. Octopus vulgaris is a member of the Mollusca phylum, resides under the class Cephalopoda, and is in the Octopoda order. The common octopus has many close relatives, which include the many species of octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish. Octopus vulgaris is believed by taxonomists to contain a number of related sister species. However they have not yet decided how to split the species.

The common octopus can reach a length of about 24-36 inches in length for both male and female. Both genders live for a short time of 12 to 18 months, females maybe even for a shorter amount of time due to offspring. These octopuses are nocturnal predators who are known primarily to feed crustaceans, bivalves, and gastropods. Octopus vulgaris is both a merciless predator, and tasty prey… Both to other marine animals, and humans alike! The common octopus is widely used in the commercial food industry for many cuisine dishes. YUUUMMMMMMYYYY!


One aspect to note about these cephalopods is that they have very well developed nervous systems, and the most advanced and complex brains of all the invertebrates. Also they have very elaborate eyes with a cornea, lens, chambers, and a retina, similar to those of the vertebrates; however they cannot perceive color. Not shown above is the radula. The radula is a tongue-like organ coated in “teeth” that helps with shredding tissue of prey.

Form and Function:

The common octopus’s arms are used in food capture and handling and have a complex musculature, suction cups, and are capable of delicate movements. Using these arms, the octopus is capable of high-speed maneuvers and is able to swiftly seize prey and bring it to the mouth. An unknown factor of octopuses as well as cuttlefish is they have salivary glands that produce venom that helps immobilize prey. Once the prey is slightly paralyzed, the octopuses’ beaklike jaws grab hold of the prey, and the radula (aforementioned) tears off pieces of the prey’s flesh. Digestion is extracellular and occurs in the stomach and the cecum. Wastes are then expelled through the anus.

Octopus vulgaris reproduces sexually. Before sexual activity, the male octopus often undergoes color displays directed towards females and against rival males. The spermatozoa in males are encased in spermatophores and stored in the gonad sac. During copulation the male uses one of its arms to pluck a spermatophore from its mantle cavity, and inserts it into the female’s mantle cavity. The female octopuses tend their eggs and often die because of it.

ctopuses are preyed upon by a select few of other organisms. For example pinnipeds, barracuda, seals, and eels all enjoy a good cephalopod snack. The octopus has primary and secondary defenses for these predators. The primary defense it possesses, which is nearly full proof, is “crypsis.” Crypsis is the term applied to the octopuses amazing ability to camouflage, and even mimic other animals, with the entirety of its exterior. Octopus vulgaris possesses skin cells called chromatophores that can completely adjust color, design, and even texture to fit their environment. The octopus’s secondary defense is its flight and ink technique. When faced with a last resort, the octopus will release and cloud of ink as a smoke screen for a quick getaway.

Impact on Humanity:

Sadly, octopus vulgaris is a large part of the worlds fishing industry with an average of 20,000 to 100,000 tons caught per year. The common octopus accounts for around 50 percent of all octopus catch world wide. In countries such as Japan, Greece, and the region of Northwest Africa particularly, octopus is one of the main seafoods on the menu. Their ink is even used in ice cream!!

Journal Review:

This journal discussed an experiment in which scientists fed octopus vulgaris stationed in two separate tanks (low and high density) only mackerel as opposed to its usual diet. The studies showed that the octopuses had increased body weight as opposed to their usual diet. The octopuses were at a 100 percent survival rate in a low-density tank. However, results did show that the diet caused an increased aggressiveness in the octopuses that were in the high-density tank, which led to some fatalities among subjects. It was then proposed that as long as supplied with crustaceans as well, this would be less likely to occur.

Works Cited

Pierce, M.L. (n.d.). Marine invertabrates of bermuda. Retrieved from

Pham, C.K. (2009). Growth and mortality of common octopus (octopus vulgaris) fed a monospecific fish diet. Journal of Shellfish Research, 1. Retrieved from

Peoples, Trust. (2009). The common octpus. Retrieved from

The Big Zoo, . (2010). Common octopus (octopus vulgaris). Retrieved from

Portuguese Man of war

by: Noni Heers

I. Introduction

Domain: Eukaryota

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Subclass: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Nomeidae

Genus: Nomeus

Scientific name: - Nomeus gronovii

The Portuguese man-of-war is a type of jellyfish. Although it may appear to be just an “it”, it is actually a “they”. The man-of-war is known as a Siphonophore which means it is a colony of individual organisms working together. The man-of-war is made up of four separate polyps. Pneumatophore, Gastrozooid, Gonozooids, Neumatocysts and Dactylozooids. It gets its name, Man-of-War from the uppermost polyp,which is a gas-filled bladder, or pneumatophore, which sits above the water and somewhat resembles an old warship at full sail. Man-of-wars are also known as bluebottles for the purple-blue color of their pneumatophores. The Nematocysts are a very complex coiled and thread like intercellular structure. They are part of the Dactylozoids. Their purposes is to drag the prey into its mouth (gastrozooids). The tentacles can extend 165 feet in length below the surface, although 30 feet is more the average.

Nematocysts are covered in venom-filled nematocysts used to paralyze and kill fish and other small creatures. For humans, a man-of-war sting is extremely painful but not deadly.

The Gonozooids consist of male and female part, they can reproduce by a sexual budding or asexually. With sexually budding they achieve variation with in the species by producing gametes. With asexual reproduction they produce an exact copy of themselves. The Gastrozooid is the digestive part (feeding zooids) of the man-of-war.

The man-of-war is found in tropical Atlantic waters and occasionally as far north as the Bay of Fundy and the Hebrides and also the Mediterranean Sea. It can usually be found floating on top of the water but can quickly submerge when danger is near. They are reported abundantly off the Karachi coast in Pakistan, particularly at the Sandspit and Hawkes Bay beaches during the months of June, July and August, and are also common in the ocean off parts of Australia and New Zealand.

II. Anatomy

The Man-of-War floats on a gas-filled, blue to pink, translucent body called a pneumatophore The body is 3 to 12 inches long. The crest above the float acts like a sail, moving the animal across the seas. Polyps support the tentacles and are located under the float. On the Man-of-war, there are 4 types of polyps (explained above).

III. Form and Function

The man-of-war is constantly looking for food with its tentacles. The food that is found is trapped in the tentacles (dactylozooids) with the help their nematocysts. Nematocysts stinging barbs shoot out whenever the cells are disturbed, usually by something brushing up against them. Once it finds its prey it usually gets the fish by stinging it with its 10 to 100 foot long tentacles releasing poison into the fish's body. Once the fish becomes paralyzed the man-of-war pulls the small fish into its mouth. The man-of-war usually feeds on small fish.

There were different ways of reproduction that i found for man-of-war’s. Portuguese man-of-war have separate sexes and release their eggs and sperm into the sea, where fertilization occurs and larvae develop. The larvae bud and grow into adults that reproduce sexually. The other way was that scientists believe that man-of-wars spawn together in large numbers, with each colony (being either all male polyps or all female polyps) releasing gametes into the water to be fertilized. The result larvae then go through asexual budding to produce a new

man-of-war colony.

Just because the man-of-war is a jellyfish doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have enemies. The Sun Fish, Loggerhead Turtle, and Hawksbill Turtle all feed on the Portuguese man-of-war. it defends itself by using its nematocysts. One predator that the man-of-war can’t escape is the Glaucus which is a type of sea slug that uses the man-of-war’s tentacles for itself after it eats them.

IV. Impact on the World/ Humanity


Portuguese men-of-war can harm the tourism industry. People will not pay to visit beaches that are covered with jellyfish or swim in waters where they are floating. People do not want to chance being stung or put their children at risk for stings. Men-of-war have the potential to impact the fishing industry. Fish harvests could be influenced by man-of-war feeding on larval fish populations, especially in areas with major commercial fisheries, such as the Gulf of Mexico.


Portuguese Men-of-war do benefit the economy as well. They are eaten by some fish and crustaceans of commercial value. In addition, the man-of-war could fill an important ecological role that has not yet been studied that keeps the ecosystem in balance.

V. Journal Article Review

In this Article the person who is talking said that they were out one day by the beach when they spotted the man of war by the rocks. so this person decided to try to throw the man of war further out into the ocean so that it wouldn’t sting anybody else. The narrator also says that man of war’s are usually responsible for severe stings in Myrtle Beach. it was said that the reason they had found all of those man of wars was because of the change in wind.


Works Cited:

Hydroids: hydrozoa- portuguese man of war (physalia physalis): species accounts.” (n.d.). Retrieved from

Hoover, Initials. (n.d.). “Marine Invertebrates Of Bermuda.” Retrieved from

Portuguese man-of-war. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Lee, J.B. (n.d.). Hawaiian ocean organisms. Retrieved from

Pmow. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Spring, J. (n.d.). Jellyfish blowing in the wind. Retrieved from

Onchocerca volvulus
By, Sarah Smith

The Onchocerca volvulus is a worm that causes Onchocerciasis, also known as “River Blindness.” This nematode has a fascinating and devious way of reaching its only host, humans. They infect and then mature inside a Black fly, and when it bites a human, they are transmitted through the fly’s saliva to the host’s skin, where they reproduce in the muscle fibers. If they reach the eyes of the host, which they commonly do, they can cause permanent blindness, commonly referred to as “river blindness” in Africa.


Form and Function:
Onchocera Volvulus begins its life cycle when a female black fly drinks the blood of a human. The parasite, which is found in the dermis of the human, is consumed by the fly. The parasite then chews through the gut of the fly and relocates in the thoracic flight muscles of the fly. At this point, it is in its first larval phase. It stays there until it matures into the second larval phase, and then moves to the saliva of the fly. When the fly drinks the blood of a human host, the O. volvulus passes into its bloodstream. Next, the larvae moves to the subcutaneous tissue. Here, they form bumps, called nodules, and mature into fully developed, adult worms. This developmental period lasts between six to twelve months. Once fully matured, they mate, and can reproduce at a rate of between 1,000 to 3,000 a day. These eggs remain in the subcutaneous tissue, until picked up by a black fly, when they begin the cycle again. The adult worms, however, migrate to the skin and connective tissue of their host.

Impact on Humanity:

The Onchocerca Volvus causes a disease called Onchocerciasis. Onchocerciasis is most commonly transmitted in Guatemala, Ecuador, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Yemen, and thirty countries in Africa. People get infected when in frequent contact with black flies. Blindness almost always results from infections, as well as rashes and bumps under the skin. Onchocerciasis used to be one of the leading causes of preventable blindness and skin diseases in the word. World Health Organization, however, has dramatically reduced the impact of the disease by leading disease control programs. These programs introduce a drug called Ivermectin, which is taken orally and heals the disease entirely. Because of this being donated around the world, the impact of Onchocerciasis has dramatically decreased throughout the years. The prevention of Oncerciasis is simple: wear insect repellent. However, many countries do not have access to this. Unfortunately, there are no vaccinations yet invented that prevent the disease.

Journal/ Article Review:
This article is about the Onchocerca Volvus, and talks about how scientists have yet to create a vaccine against its infection. They have used molecular tools to identify the antigens that may help prevent development of the disease, yet are unable to come up with a vaccine to prevent the disease. This article talks about different attempts and ideas of how they can create a vaccine to prevent Onchocerciasis.

Works Cited:
• Nettleman, Mary. "Onchocerciasis." eMedicine. N.p., 04/16/2009. Web. 13 Oct 2010

• "Onchocerciasis (River Blindness)." Medic8. N.p., 09/11/2004. Web. 13 Oct 2010

• "Neglected Tropical Diseases." Plos. The Onchocerca volvulus Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitor, 11/18/2009. Web. 13 Oct 2010. .

Photos Retrieved From:

• "Onchocerca Volvus Lifecycle." Wikipedia. Wikipedia Commons, n.d. Web. 14 Oct 2010. .

• Cummings, Varki. "Nematoda." Essentials of Glycobiology. The Consortium of Glycobiology Editors, 2009. Web. 14 Oct 2010.