Further IKA-ology: Parasites and Squid

Dec 24, 2002
Hello again,

Out of curiosity, has anyone found any parasites or forms of ecto-commensals living on or within any cephs out there? Just curious, but I was wondering about any nemerteans, annelids, crustaceans, and the like. Chances are you would find them in the mantle near the gills, but they could exist anywhere.

See, parasites are modified to live on certain hosts. I would like to know if any ceph parasites exist and to what extent they have become modified for our molluscan amigos. I have found an interesting link between the pea crab and mussels, as well as the gum boot chiton. There's also a few annllids worth a mention, but in both these cases, the relationship was more commensal than parasitic.


Hi John,

I'm not much of a parasitologist (for that read I know diddly squat!!) but both Moroteuthis ingens and Nototodarus sloanii carry Anisakis simplex which I am told is a Nematode. My tame (!) parasitologist tell me that cephs are secondary hosts for these and the primary hosts are the cetaceans and pinnepeds. In M. ingens we found them attached to the mantle walls, the inner gut walls and loose in the gut contents, sometimes in huge numbers. In N. sloanii they are found on connective membranes, gut wall and loose in the gut but in far fewer numbers (most was around 20 in one individ). as for other parasites, didn't see any!


Haven't seen any, which doesn't mean there aren't any of course :biggrin2:

Watching our octis and sepiolids shows that they spend a lot of time doing what looks to me like 'grooming' behaviour (sometimes that behavioural psych stuff just pops up!!) The octis writhe their arms over their bodies sucker side down and insert their arms into the funnel and mantle openings. Just today watched the sepiolids rubbing along the sand looking for all the world like Southern Pigfish (Congiopodus leucopaecilus) rubbing hydroids and bryozoans off their skin (these guys have no scales).


Just lost my whole post here... allow me to recreate... :x

Steve and I ran across some fat cestodes in an otherwise empty Archi stomach last year, but other than that I haven't seen many parasites. We do find the occasional oddity wedged up inside the mantles of Archis brought up in trawl nets - fish (my cat ate a hoki I found inside one Architeuthis), smaller squid, etc - but these are hardly natural occurrences. :roll:
There's quite a bit of literature on ceph parasites out there. Try this one:

Hochberg, F.G. 1983. The Parasites of Cephalopods: A Review. Memoirs of the National Museum Victoria 44: 109-145.

It also contains a pretty thorough list of other references. When I come across other more recent ones here (don't have any on hand at the moment) I'll post those too.
Hope that helps!

(Hmm, this post was longer last time... :? )
John, there are lots of parasites recorded from octopus. Just do a search on 'Hochberg & Short' and you'll find a few references, then just check out their references and you'll find your literature base will explode.