Great Basin Naturalist


Blood, tissue, and organ samples from five bowhead whales were examined for ecto- and endoparasites. Two species of protozoans, four genera of diatoms, one species of trematoda, two species of nematoda, and one species of amphipoda "louse" were found. No blood parasites were recovered. The larval anisakid nematode, found in the submucosa of the forestomach of one whale, generated a prominent inflammatory response. Protozoans found in contents of the colon included a flagellate and a sarcodinan. The sarcodinan, which was common in the colon contents of one whale, belongs to the genus Entamoeba and probably represents an undescribed species. Ogomogaster plicatus, a trematode, was also identified. The data from this study are compared with previous lists of parasites for the bowhead whale and two other species of baleen whales. From the results presented, the previous list of parasites for the bowhead whale has been expanded to include eight additional genera and species.