Abstract

Examination of a small portion of the viscera of an oarfish (Regalecus russellii) recovered from Santa Catalina Island, southern California, revealed numerous tetraphyllidean tapeworm plerocercoids, Clistobothrium cf. montaukensis; 2 juvenile nematodes, Contracaecum sp.; and a fragment of an adult acanthocephalan, family Arhythmacanthidae. This suggests that the fish was relatively heavily parasitized. The presence of larval and juvenile worms suggests that oarfish are preyed upon by deep-swimming predators such as the shortfin mako shark, Isurus oxyrinchus, known to be a definitive host for the adult tapeworm, and also by diving mammals such as sperm whales, Physeter catodon L., hosts of Contracaecum spp. nematodes.

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