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Parasites from Indo-Pacific hump-backed dolphins (Sousa chinensis) and finless porpoises (Neophocaena phocaenoides) stranded in Hong Kong
  1. E. C. M. Parsons, PhD1,
  2. R. M. Overstreet, PhD2 and
  3. T. A. Jefferson, PhD3
  1. 1 Seaquest, Tigh na Mara, 10 Main Street, Tobermory, Isle of Mull, Argyll PA75 6NU
  2. 2 Department of Parasitology, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, 703 East Beach Drive, Ocean Springs, MS 39564, USA
  3. 3 Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA, NMFS, PO Box 271, La Jolla, CA 92038, USA and Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Ocean Park, Aberdeen, Hong Kong

Abstract

Between 1993 and 1998,28 Indo-Pacific hump-backed dolphins (Sousa chinensis) and 32 finless porpoises (Neophocaena phocaenoides) stranded in Hong Kong territorial waters were examined postmortem for parasites. The nematode Halocercus pingi was discovered in the lungs of one hump-backed dolphin and in 10 finless porpoises, typically within abscesses or granulomata, and they were frequently accompanied by a catarrhal exudate and lesions characteristic of pneumonia. Seven of the 10 finless porpoises were calves with substantial lungworm infections, and three were neonates with visible fetal folds and umbilical remnants, suggesting that H pingi is transferred to the neonate before birth or during lactation. Electron micrographs of Hpingi should allow the nematode to be identified by other researchers. An ectoparasitic stalked barnacle (Xenobalanus globicipitis) was recovered from a finless porpoise, the first time that this species of bamacle has been recorded in Hong Kong's territorial waters.

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