[MARMAM] Pennella: Request for Specimens / Information

Diane Alps diane.alps at gmail.com
Mon Sep 18 13:26:49 PDT 2017

*Pennella balaenopterae *are mesoparasites found on a (limited) variety of
cetaceans and other marine mammals. These crustaceans are the largest of
the parasitic copepods, at a length of up to 32cm. *P. balaenopterae *is
morphologically similar to *Pennella filosa, *which is more commonly found
on large fishes, but has also been reported on marine mammals.

Information on *P. balaenopterae *is quite sparse; there is very little
knowledge of the life cycle of this species. There is also a question as to
proper identification of the species, primarily due to difficulty in
acquiring complete and intact specimens from marine mammals (the head
region is required!)

Extraction from stranded cetaceans is the primary source by which to study
Pennella. Collection techniques are provided in the link below to aide
stranding networks in the collection of complete and intact specimens.

Additionally, review of photo identification collections of fin whales in
southern California has shown that this is a valuable opportunity to survey *P.
balaenopterae *growth, abundance and occurrence rates.

Here’s how you can help:

1)      Do you have, or know of, Pennella in a museum collection? If so,
let’s talk! I’d love to take a look at the specimen, and record the data
from its collection.

2)      Do you work with a stranding response network? Please add the
collection techniques to your sampling protocols. It is a rare opportunity
to acquire these specimens!

3)      Are you involved in cetacean photo ID? Valuable information can be
accessed through re-sighting evidence when Pennella are present in ID
shots. Let’s talk about how you can contribute to this project.

Collection methods (please add to your necropsy protocols!):

More information, including photos, can be found here:
<http://www.calwhales.org/pennella.html> *

Diane Alps (diane.alps at gmail.com)

Principal Investigator

  California Whales and Wildlife <http://calwhales.org>

Associate Research Scientist

  Cabrillo Marine Aquarium <http://www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org>


  Channel Islands Cetacean Research Unit <http://cicru.org/>
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