Parasitology, Harold W. Manter Laboratory of


Date of this Version



NOAA Technical Report NMFS SSRF-777.


U.S. government document. Public domain material.


This report is a summary of the published records of parasites found from the marine and estuarine fishes of California, Oregon, and Washington. Coverage has not been limited to the western United States, but rather includes parasite reports from throughout each fish's range. Included is a host-parasite list and parasite-host cross index.

We have produced this survey because we felt there was a need for a single source which would list all the parasites infecting marine and estuarine fish from California, Oregon, and Washington. Pertinent sources are scattered over a number of journals, covering many years. Workers find it time consuming and laborious to search through the literature. Moreover, it is a task that many workers in the field have to duplicate. We hope this paper will shorten the job considerably.

We use "marine and estuarine" in a broad sense and include anadromous species in this survey. We have also included records from landlocked populations of anadromous fish, such as Salmo gairdneri, the rainbow trout, and S. clarki, the cutthroat trout. Though this survey (which encompasses works up to and including mid-1978) covers marine and estuarine fishes of California, Oregon, and Washington, we have included citations of parasites recorded from individual fish outside of this range, if the fish species has been reported from within it. Our reasoning is that many parasites found in hosts outside the California-Washington boundaries have subsequently been found to infect the same host species within the boundaries. We have not included all citations of a particular parasite from a particular host, as this is beyond the scope of our work.

The taxonomic status of various parasites is under debate in numerous cases. In listing these parasites we have, out of necessity, chosen one side of an argument over others. We make no pretense of being experts in the field of systematics and taxonomy. Many of the choices we made, however, were based on discussions with individuals more qualified than ourselves. No matter what choices were made, we realize there will be those who disagree. We are always open to suggestions on changes and corrections, and we hope they will be forthcoming. Both host names and their order in this publication follow Bailey et al. (1970).

We have included some unpublished data, primarily in the form of personal communications. We recognize that some workers believe that the possibility of errors in these circumstances is higher than in published works. It is our feeling that workers using this list are capable of exercising their discretion as to which citation to accept or reject.

We have marked with an asterisk, some revisions and comments on parasite taxonomy which have lately come to our attention. Deardorff and Overstreet (1981) have resurrected the genus Hysterothylacium to include the genus Thynnascaris and those members of Contracaecum which mature in fishes.

Among the copepods, Z. Kabata (pers. commun.) has the following comments. There are no authenticated records for Bomolochus solae from America. Though there is an old report of Caligus curtus from Squalus acanthias, this is a very doubtful record. Pseudocaligus apodus is properly placed in Caligopsis. Clavella inversa should not be within this genus. Koyeria trecai, Neobrachiella oblonga, and Pennella costai are nomen nudum. Perissopus oblongatus is a composite taxon. Haemobaphes theragrae is species inquirenda.