New Records on Acanthocephalans from California Sea Lions Zalophus californianus (Pinnipedia, Otariidae) from California, USA

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Abstract

To increase the currently limited knowledge addressing acanthocephalans parasitizing California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), 33 animals including pups, juvenile and adult males and females from the Marine Mammal Center (TMMC), Sausalito, California, USA were examined. Totally, 2,268 specimens of acanthocephalans representing five species from the genera Andracantha (A. phalacrocoracis and Andracantha sp.), Corynosoma (C. strumosum and C. obtuscens) and Profilicollis (P. altmani) were found. Profilicollis altmani and A. phalacrocoracis, predominantly parasitize fish-eating birds; they were registered in Z. californianus for the first time. Prevalence and intensity of California sea lion infection and transmission of acanthocephalans in these hosts of different age groups were analyzed and discussed. We provide brief morphological descriptions of the five species of acanthocephalan found in California sea lions.

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