Great sandeel (Hyperoplus lanceolatus) as a putative transmitter of parasite Contracaecum osculatum (Nematoda: Anisakidae)
In the present study 5 grey seals (Halichoerus grypus), 3 common seals (Phoca vitulina) and 1 ringed seal (Pusa hispida) bycaught or stranded on the Polish Baltic Sea coast in years 2000-2006 were investigated for the infestation of parasitic anisakid nematodes. 749 of anisakids were found. The most common were: Contracaecum osculatum (59.3%) and Pseudoterranova decipiens (31.0%). There were also small numbers of Anisakis simplex (0.8%). After performing RFLP three sibling species were found. C. osculatum was identified as C. osculatum C, P decipiens was identified as P. decipiens sensu stricto and A. simplex — A. simplex sensu stricto. Nematodes found in seals were mostly in L4 and adult life stage — both of them were equal with some minor variations among the specimens. Sex ratio was also equal, but there was slight excess of males in some cases. There was a minority of L3 larvae belonging to A. simplex species (0.8%).