"Ectoparasites" on Giant Sea Bass?

Outer Bamnks diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by Dr. Bill on December 06, 2005 at 22:47:49:

I'm working on my upcoming DVD on the natural history of the giant (or black) sea bass. I would assume those of you who have seen them have also seen the "ectoparasites" that frequent the head region.

I have talked to a few biologists and none have been able to tell me the identification of these ectoparasites. At first I thought they were copepods, but now I'm wondering if they might be isopods. I can't seem to get a really good "look" at them even in my video footage, and I'm not very familiar with most "ectoparasites."

I even question whether these critters are really parasitic. Do they harm the giant sea bass in any way, or just feed on food scraps it might release from the mouth?

If anyone knows their species name or has information, I'd greatly appreciate it.

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