Date of this Version
Gulf and Caribbean Research (2009) 22: 1-8.
Endohelminths are reported from a female snake mackerel, Gempylus serpens (Trichiuroidea: Gempylidae), captured from a depth of 61 m in the Gulf of Mexico 140 km south of the mouth of Mobile Bay, Alabama, in August 1998. A diverse endohelminth parasite fauna was found: 29 plerocercoid type I tetraphyllideans from the lower intestine; 4 didymozoid metacercariae allocated to the collective group Monilicaecum and one didymozoid metacercaria of the collective group Torticaecum from the pyloric cecum; one juvenile Gonocerca phycidis from the stomach; and 5 larvae (L3 stage) comprising 3 species of Anisakis from the pyloric cecum. These nematodes were identified as species of Anisakis due to the presence of an oblong ventriculus lacking an appendix, no intestinal cecum or interlabia, 3 lips with dentigerous ridges, and an excretory pore located between the lateroventral lips. Differences in overall size and in the lengths of the ventriculus and esophagus in relation to total body length were used to distinguish the 3 species of Anisakis collected. Seven specimens of a possibly unnamed species of parasitic copepod representing Bomolochus infected the gill chamber. Stomach contents included 6 early-juvenile flatfish (Pleuronectiformes). All of the helminths are measured and illustrated, and for some of the parasites recovered, we are unaware of any reports from this host species.