BOLTON Library has been sent a special creature just in time for Halloween - a blood sucking parasite.

The Cymothoan Isopod, also known as a "tongue eating louse", was sent to the library's aquarium team to identify.

The parasitic creature enters fish through the gills, while the female will attach itself to the tongue of its victim.

The parasite severs the blood vessels in the fish's tongue, causing the tongue to fall off. It then attaches itself to the remaining stub of the tongue and becomes the fish's new tongue.

The Bolton Library and Museum team said: "Just in time for Halloween, our aquarium team were sent this blood sucking parasite to ID.

"It's a cymothoan isopod aka a "tongue eating louse" (the females of some species do this, others burrow actually inside the body cavity).

"The juveniles (like this one) attach themselves to the skin of the fish and are easy to remove.

"The fish it was removed from has recovered from its unwanted passenger!"