Polar Biology

, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 899–906 | Cite as

Deep-water life cycle of Anisakis paggiae (Nematoda: Anisakidae) in the Irminger Sea indicates kogiid whale distribution in north Atlantic waters

  • Sven Klimpel
  • Thomas Kuhn
  • Markus W. Busch
  • Horst Karl
  • Harry W. PalmEmail author
Original Paper


The study of the beryciform Anoplogaster cornuta from the Irminger Sea (north Atlantic) revealed the presence of the anisakid nematode Anisakis paggiae inside the body cavity, representing a new host and locality record. This deep-sea fish was infected with Anisakis larvae at a prevalence of 57.1% and a mean intensity of 2.2, with no correlation between the fish standard length and the number of accumulated A. paggiae. Kogiid whales (Kogia breviceps, K. sima), the typical final hosts of this parasitic nematode, have not yet been recorded so far in the north. Because A. cornuta does not migrate outside the Irminger Sea, and by using the parasite as an indicator for the presence of the final hosts, A. paggiae must have been introduced through migratory kogiid final hosts. This would extend their range of distribution into the Irminger Sea. The depth range of the meso- and bathypelagic A. cornuta and the frequent occurrence of Anisakis inside this deep-sea fish demonstrate an oceanic deep-water life cycle for A. paggiae in the north Atlantic.


Deep-sea fish Anisakis paggiae Zoogeography Metazoan parasites Irminger Sea Kogiidae Sibling species 



The present study was financially supported by the German Research Council (DFG KL 2087/1-1, 1-2, PA 664/4-2, 664/6-1), by the Research and Innovation funds of the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf and the Gesellschaft für Ichthyologie e.V. (GiF). The study was a contribution to Mar-Eco, a field study of the Census of Marine Life program.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sven Klimpel
    • 1
  • Thomas Kuhn
    • 1
  • Markus W. Busch
    • 1
  • Horst Karl
    • 2
  • Harry W. Palm
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute for Ecology, Evolution and Diversity, Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F, LOEWE)Goethe-UniversityFrankfurt am MainGermany
  2. 2.Max Rubner—Institute, Federal Research Institute for Nutrition and Food, Department of Safety and Quality of Milk and Fish ProductsHamburgGermany
  3. 3.Aquaculture and Sea-Ranching, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental SciencesUniversity RostockRostockGermany

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