Journal of Parasitology (2008)

DOI: 10.1645/ge-1296.1


There is an increasing interest in parasites of marine mammals of Argentina. Here, we examined several poorly known cetaceans, i.e., 2 spectacled porpoises and 1 Burmeister’s porpoise (Phocoenidae), and 1 Gray’s beaked whale and 1 Cuvier’s beaked whale (Ziphidae); we also updated the parasite information for 1 sperm whale (Physeteridae). These hosts strand only occasionally. We found Anisakis simplex s.l. in 2 spectacled porpoises and the Burmeister’s porpoise, and recorded its distribution among the stomach chambers. Anisakis physeteris infected the sperm whale; Corynosoma cetaceum occurred in the duodenal ampulla of the Burmeister’s porpoise; Corynosoma australe was found in the posterior-most region of the intestine of 1 spectacled porpoise, while another one had Tetrabothrius sp. in the anal crypts; Corynosoma bullosum and Corynosoma sp. were found in the sperm whale. The only digenean found was Pholeter gastrophilus in the Burmeister’s porpoise. Merocercoids of Phyllobothrium delphini were present in the blubber of 1 spectacled porpoise, the sperm whale, and the Gray’s beaked whale, while Scolex pleuronectis infected the Gray’s beaked whale and 1 spectacled porpoise. No parasites were recovered from the Cuvier’s beaked whale. Poor parasite-species assemblages are consistent in marine mammals of Patagonia. Given the conservation status of these hosts, the limited parasitological information gathered is valuable for conservation or management of these hosts in Patagonia.