Blood-sucking parasitic fish with rows of razor-sharp teeth spotted in AUSTRALIAN waters


Blood-sucking ‘vampire tube’ fish with rows of razor-sharp teeth is spotted in AUSTRALIAN waters in extremely rare sighting

  • Six lamprey fish were recently discovered by a tour guide in the Margaret River
  • Keen local adventurer Sean Blocksidge was quickly aware of the significant find
  • Elated Blocksidge compared seeing the lampreys to spotting Loch Ness Monster 










An elusive, blood-sucking parasitic fish with razor sharp teeth has been spotted in Western Australia’s Margaret River for the first time in well over a decade.

Local tour guide Sean Blocksidge discovered six lampreys together in what he initially believed was a long blue tube in the shallows.

On closer inspection, Blocksidge quickly realised he was staring at a scarcely seen aquatic creature known as the ‘vampire of the sea’.

Lampreys have that name because they guzzle the blood of their prey. 

A tour guide in Western Australia recently stumbled across the rarely seen lampreys, who are renowned for savagely guzzling the blood of their ocean prey (stock image)

A tour guide in Western Australia recently stumbled across the rarely seen lampreys, who are renowned for savagely guzzling the blood of their ocean prey (stock image)

Local tour guide Sean Blocksidge (pictured) compared seeing the lampreys to spotting the Loch Ness monster in Scotland

Local tour guide Sean Blocksidge (pictured) compared seeing the lampreys to spotting the Loch Ness monster in Scotland

The odd-looking, jawless creatures evolved around 360 million years ago and have scaleless, elongated bodies as well as a specialist mouth. 

Elated tour guide Blocksidge compared his remarkable find to locating the Loch Ness monster in Scotland.  

‘It was a kind of surreal moment. I have heard so many stories from the old-timers about how the lampreys used to migrate in their thousands up the waterfalls,’ he told the New York Post.

‘But we haven’t seen them in our Margaret River (water) system for well over a decade.. it must have been my lucky day.’ 

The lampreys – also known as ‘living dinosaurs’ – were uncovered at Yalgardup Falls – a venue where tour guides often have stopped previously. 

As soon as the tour group were made aware of the significance of the unique find, they were collectively thrilled.

The slippery pouched lampreys often spend their formative years in freshwater conditions before migrating downstream.

Meals are never scarce, with the life pattern seeing the fish breed before dying. 

According to Blocksidge, the lampreys ‘kinda look like an eel’ and also possess a ‘hideous looking dinosaur-like mouth filled with grasping teeth.’ 

The species do face a bleak future – they could become endangered due to climate change as well as the high level of salinity in the waters where they reproduce. 

Lampreys (pictured) are around 360 million years old and in the ocean they feed parasitically by attaching their mouths to the side of their host fish or whale

Lampreys (pictured) are around 360 million years old and in the ocean they feed parasitically by attaching their mouths to the side of their host fish or whale

Lampreys were feared to be extinct in Australia following the Millennium Drought in the 2000s

Lampreys were feared to be extinct in Australia following the Millennium Drought in the 2000s

What is a lamprey fish?

  • Lampreys are anadromous, meaning they need to live in freshwater and saltwater to complete their life cycle
  • They lack jaws; instead adults have a well-developed suctorial oral disc 
  • Feed on the blood and flesh of larger fish in the ocean
  • Pose no risk to humans despite savage appearance
  • The ancient, bloodsucking fish made a comeback from near-extinction after record numbers were monitored in the Murray River in South Australia last year
  • Were feared to be almost extinct after the Millennium Drought from 2001 to 2010



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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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