Wahoo intestinal parasites

 This will probably be one for Glenn, and I didn't have a camera handy. When cleaning a large wahoo recently, I did my usual examination of the gut contents for an idea of what he was feeding on. The stomach was empty, apart from two rather disgusting looking purple/red blobs which were attached to the inner stomach lining.  They were able to be pulled away without any apparent damage, and apeared to have a mouth on the end which was attached. They resembled nothing so much as a very fat leech, attached inside the stomach. Elongated neck, overall length maybe 25mm, with a fat end diameter of around 18mm. Fish was otherwise in perfect health, gave a good fight and flesh was perfect.

Anyone else seen these?

Habanero's picture

Posts: 225

Date Joined: 19/06/12


Wed, 2017-08-02 10:22

I have never cleaned a wahoo when they were not present , cleaned a lot of wahoo , never a singular , always in pairs. live and crawl for a while after removing from stomach . the Fijians have a myth/fable about them.

Glenn Moore's picture

Posts: 226

Date Joined: 13/02/12

sounds like a worm

Mon, 2017-08-28 09:09

 Not my area at all, but it sounds like a worm of some sort. I don't think that any marine leeches live in the intestines, but I really don't know.  Could be a Spiny-headed worm? There is a specialist marine parasite group operating out of James Cook Uni - might be worth contacting them www.marineparasites.com


Glenn Moore

Curator of Fishes

Western Australian Museum

twitter @WestOzFish