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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 55:73-76 (2003)  -  doi:10.3354/dao055073

Gastrointestinal helminths of Risso's dolphin Grampus griseus from the Western Mediterranean

Mercedes Fernández*, Celia Agustí, F. Javier Aznar, J. Antonio Raga

Unidad de Zoología Marina, Instituto Cavanilles de Biodiversidad y Biología Evolutiva, Universidad de Valencia, PO Box 22085, Valencia 46071, Spain

ABSTRACT: The gastrointestinal helminth fauna of 17 Risso's dolphins Grampus griseus (Cuvier, 1812) from the Western Mediterranean was analysed. Five helminth species were found. Adults and juveniles of Hadwenius delamurei were collected from the duodenum of 7 animals. Adults were located significantly more anteriorly than juveniles, which is compatible with a previous hypothesis that species of Hadwenius undergo an ontogenetic migration towards the anterior duodenum. Eggs from Pholeter gastrophilus appeared in 1 small cyst in the main stomach. Adults of Tetrabothrius forsteri and Trigonocotyle globicephalae were collected from the duodenum of 1 and 4 individuals, respectively. Metacestodes, Scolex pleuronectis, were found in the liver, pancreas, pyloric stomach and intestine of 13 individuals. The most favored locations were in the mucosa of the terminal colon and in anal crypts. It is likely that worms select these locations to reach the mesenteries and blubber of the anogenital area, where S. pleuronectis might become Monorygma and/or Phyllobothrium. Two individuals of Stenurus globicephalae occurred in the intestine of 1 individual, and were probably swallowed accidentally. The intestinal helminth communities of Risso's dolphin are depauperate. The parasite species found also occur in other oceanic cetaceans from the Western Mediterranean. However, H. delamurei and T. globicephalae are only shared with pilot whales Globicephala spp., which are phylogenetically closely related to Risso's dolphins.

KEY WORDS: Risso's dolphin · Grampus griseus · Mediterranean · Hadwenius delamurei · Trigonocotyle globicephalae · Tetrabothrius forsteri · Pholeter gastrophilus · Scolex pleuronectis

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