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There are short sensory barbels around the head, together with short, backward pointing spines on the gill covers.
Candirus (Vandellia) inhabit the Amazon and Orinoco basins of lowland Amazonia, where they constitute part of the Neotropical fish fauna.
He recounts the events of his investigation in his book Candiru: Life and Legend of the Bloodsucking Catfishes. Samad in person and interviewed him at his practice and home.
Samad gave him photos, the original VHS tape of the cystoscopy procedure, and the actual fish's body preserved in formalin as his donation to the INPA.
According to Gudger, this lends credence to the unlikelihood of the fish entering the male urethra, based on the comparatively small opening that would accommodate only the most immature members of the species.
Candiru (English and Portuguese or candirú in Spanish), Vandellia cirrhosa, also known as cañero, toothpick fish, or vampire fish, is a species of parasitic freshwater catfish in the family Trichomycteridae native to the Amazon Basin where it is found in the countries of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The word has been used to refer to only Vandellia cirrhosa, the entire genus Vandellia, the subfamily Vandelliinae, or even the two subfamilies Vandelliinae and Stegophilinae.
Le Cointe actually removed the fish himself, by pushing it forward to disengage the spines, turning it around and removing it head-first.