Colossal Squid
Nov 19, 2002
Dunedin, New Zealand
Hi all,

I have just dissected some Nototodarus sloanii from the southern ocean (South Snares Shelf). I've found some internal parasites attached mainly to the digesitve gland, other parts of the alimentary tract, gills and connective tissue. They're roughly 5mm long by 2mm wide and as you can see have very little in the way of distinguishing features!

Having some trouble IDing them

Any suggestions?????



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Some form of nematode perhaps, or larval stage tapeworms?
Well, not sure on the tapeworm. Tapeworms are very distinct, at least in land animals... The scolexes and proglottids ("head" and egg masses) pretty much look the same. They don't really look like tapeworms to me. And nematodes tend not to show outside metamerism (clear sectioning - these appeared to have an anterior and posterior). Could be a fluke, but I'm thinking either mollusc or crustacean parasite, both having greatly modified bodies for parasitic lifestyles.

What size are these specimens? Is there clear cephalization? Any indications of chitin in the epidermis? Large egg masses?

I love this subject! I asked about the parasitology of squid and octos some time ago, but that thread kinda died. :wink:

Hey there,

First off. Parisites = Cool !!

Ok, now that I have that out of my system. I did a little googling for parisites and cephalopods and came up with a few pages for you.

If you want any information on parasites in general, this database is about the best I could find on the web.

It may look a little dautning at first, but plug a keyword into the search option and it narrows it down drasticaly for you. I tried "squid" and "cephalopods" and came up with a few pages:


** Monogenea

Check out the drawings of the variations in morphology in the Monogenea. Almost any of them could be a candidate for what you have, but the 2nd and the last seem to be closest in "rough" morphology.

Anyway, this was just a quick search but I hope this info can help.

Thanks for the input! Any all info appreciated. They're probably not nematodes (although these squid had Anisakis simplex as well).

Guesses I've has so far are copepods (zoology dept parasitologist best guess!), possibly cirripeds (Steve, although that was sight unseen!) and acanthocephalan (thorny headed worms!!!!).

Prob is there is no apparent cephalization, no eggs and the only chitin appears to be a "hood" (the dark patch!!)


You know Jean, I just am not getting the feeling that they're monogenean. The "cephalization" is a bit weird, and atypical of flukes.

I'm still thinking crustacean... The parasitic forms do show the characteristic soft-bodied specialization to parasitic lifestyles.

A cirripedian would be interesting (remember my posts about rhizocephalia?). Acanthocephalans might be an idea, though I have no idea what kind of acantho. parastitic forms exist.

Better point: Examine the species more closely. Find out what kind of suckers are being used to attach. Also, if you could examine the egg masses, that would be good. And even best yet, if you could get your hands on a microtome, some slides, and a good 'scope, you could make cross sections of two of these beasties and take notes on the internal anatomy.

Hell, you could send them to me - I would love a sample! :lol:

Just my :twocents:
when i wrote 'hook worm', my brain actually meant 'anchor worm', its quite common in fish and looks very similar... Lernea species. that any good?

why am i itching?
This is so cool, I'm doing the same 'what is this parasite' thing with 'rattails'.

What is the attraction with parasites? Maybe it's a 'cheating the system thing'.

:razz: :smile:
Colin said:
why am i itching?

You must know something about parasites! This link goes to a rather icky and non-ceph hiker with a leeck in her nose. BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Nosy leech wriggles into HK hiker While looking for it, I found another BBC item with another leech in a hiker's nose! BBC NEWS | Health | Invasion of the Bodysnatchers But it's the botfly extraction picture that worries me more.

Matt, parasites are fascinating, but they've put me off my feed this morning!

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