Marine Mammal Parasite of the Month- November 2019

parasite of the month

This parasite is a worm commonly seen in the seals that come into NMLC for rehabilitation. It is typically 4-6.5 mm wide and can be several feet long. Its definitive hosts are seals, sea lions and sea otters. The specific details of their life cycles are unknown, but it is hypothesized that there are two intermediate hosts. The first is most likely a marine copepod and the second  a marine fish.

What is this parasite?

What are the defining characteristics of this parasite?

Where do you think it is found in seals?