Necropsy of dead California sea lion (CSL) (Zalophus californianus) pups (n = 20) born in 2014 was done on San Miguel Island, California, in December 2014 and February 2015. The main objective was to obtain data on prevalence/intensity of hookworms (Uncinaria lyonsi) in pups at that time of the year and to compare the results with data from previous studies conducted in December, January, and February. Fourteen dead pups were examined for adult hookworms in December 2014; all pups were infected (prevalence = 100%) with intensity from 6 to 140 (average 58.9 ± 38.9 SD) nematodes per host. Six dead pups were examined in February 2015. Hookworms were present in the intestines of 2 pups (prevalence=33%); two adult female worms were found in each infected pup. From 1 to 23 (average 7.5) parasitic larvae (L3) were found in the blubber of 4 pups. The findings in this study (2014–2015) verify, from earlier observation, that adult U. lyonsi are shed by pups by late February. The prevalence of parasitic L3 in blubber of pups in February has not been previously reported. Sand samples collected in February 2015 from 4 rookery sites were positive for free-living third-stage hookworm larvae, resulting from eggs passed in feces of CSL or northern fur seal pups inhabiting the same rookeries.
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Vol. 83 • No. 2