Journal of Veterinary Medical Science (2017)

DOI: 10.1292/jvms.16-0421


A survey of helminths and ectoparasites, including epizoits, was conducted in narrow-ridged finless porpoises (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis) from Japanese five populations using dead stranded or incidentally caught animals. In total, 13 helminth species were found (6 nematodes, 4 trematodes, 2 cestodes and 1 acanthocephalan) in 137 porpoises. A new location record of Stenurus nanjingensis and a new host record of Tetrabothrius sp. were obtained. Eight species of helminth were considered common in the Japanese populations of the finless porpoise: Pharurus sunameri, Pharurus asiaeorientalis, Nasitrema spathulatum, Nasitrema sunameri, Halocercus pingi, Halocercus sunameri, Campula oblonga and Synthesium elongatum. No anisakid nematodes were found. N. spathulatum was found only in the western waters of the Seto Inland Sea. Low prevalence of C. oblonga in the Omura Bay was demonstrated. H. pingi was mostly found in very young porpoises before starting to eat prey, indicating prenatal or transmammary infection. However, a congeneric species, H. sunameri, mainly infected weaned porpoises, indicating that these two species possess different transmission pathways. This study provides information on the geographical distribution and prevalence of helminth parasites in finless porpoises off the Japanese coast.