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One-sided infections by intestinal parasites in two sympatric porpoises bycaught from the Nemuro Strait of Hokkaido, Japan

Katahira, Hirotaka, Ashida, Hana, Kobayashi, Mari
Parasitology international 2020 v.77 pp. 102118
Acanthocephala, Phocoena phocoena, fisheries, intestines, marine mammals, necropsy, parasites, surveys, sympatry, Japan
Due to the difficulties and limitations associated with field sampling of marine mammals, quantitative surveys on their parasites are still scarce in Japan. We here report the infection statuses of intestinal parasites in harbor porpoises (n = 34) and Dall's porpoises (n = 10), bycaught between 2014 and 2018 by a bottom set-net fishery in the northern part of the Nemuro Strait, Japan. Necropsies of the harbor porpoises recovered one digenean, Synthesium nipponicum, and two acanthocephalans, Corynosoma sp. and Bolbosoma sp.; no infection was observed in the Dall's porpoises. The dominant parasites were Corynosoma sp. and S. nipponicum, with a prevalence of 73.53 and 64.71% and a mean abundance of 43.88 and 7.38 individuals, respectively. Although the two porpoise-species have a sympatric distribution in this narrow strait, the findings support the existence of trophic-link dependences, which can differentially affect vulnerability to these parasites.