Caring for Stranded Marine Animals
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Marine Mammal Parasite of the Month – March 2012

This month’s Parasite of the Month represents a finding so common during cetacean necropsies that its effect and significance can be overlooked.   These parasites are found in the blubber layer and, while they can be found almost anywhere, have the greatest concentrations surrounding the ventral genital area.

When presented with a blubber layer the cysts can be carefully dissected.

When isolated they look like this…

but they can have many forms.

What are they ?

What is their true name ?

What other intermediate metacestodes can used to presume infection ?

Who is the final host ?


  1. OH! and Nice pictures!!

  2. Definitive host: sharks

  3. Very good eleonore, but I challange the correct scientific name, can you guess why ?
    (cue mysterious music) so stay tuned . . .

  4. Phylobotrium delphini,a cestode that is known to be found in the peritoneum,blubber and connective tissue,they can be found in large numbers in various marine species but are not known to cause clinical signs.

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