Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 45, Issue 4, pp 873–876 | Cite as

Pseudostalked barnacles Xenobalanus globicipitis attached to killer whales Orcinus orca in South African waters

  • Thomas Otto Whitehead
  • Dominic Paul Rollinson
  • Ryan Rudolf Reisinger
Short Communication

Abstract

Several records describe pseudostalked barnacles Xenobalanus globicipitis attached to killer whales Orcinus orca, yet little is known of this association in South African waters. Here we describe Xenobalanus prevalence on killer whales in South African waters and assemble previous records. Killer whales were photographed opportunistically between July and September 2013. Sex and age class were determined, and if Xenobalanus were present, attachment site and colony size were noted. A prevalence of 50 % was recorded, with barnacles most commonly observed on the dorsal fin and tail flukes. The high prevalence of Xenobalanus on killer whales in South African waters and lack thereof on killer whales at Marion Island implies that these are separate populations, and thus we suggest Xenobalanus prevalence as an additional means to distinguish between these populations.

Keywords

Xenobalanus globicipitis Orcinus orca Killer whale Barnacle Epibiont South Africa 

Supplementary material

12526_2014_296_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (2.1 mb)
Fig. S1Photographs of Xenobalanus globicipitis attached to the dorsal fin of a killer whale Orcinus orca in False Bay, South Africa (photo credits: D Hurwitz). (JPEG 2136 kb)
12526_2014_296_MOESM2_ESM.jpg (1.4 mb)
Fig. S2Photograph of Xenobalanus globicipitis attached to the tail flukes of a killer whale Orcinus orca off the coast of Port Elizabeth, South Africa (photo credit: L Edwards). (JPEG 1399 kb)

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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Otto Whitehead
    • 1
  • Dominic Paul Rollinson
    • 1
  • Ryan Rudolf Reisinger
    • 2
  1. 1.Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, DST-NRF Centre of ExcellenceUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.Mammal Research Institute, Department of Zoology and EntomologyUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa

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