The helminth parasite fauna of the oceanic horse mackerel Trachurus picturatus Bowdich 1825, caught off the Madeira Islands was composed of six different taxa. Prevalence and abundance of larval Anisakis sp. (Nematoda: Anisakidae) and Nybelinia lingualis (Trypanorhyncha: Tentaculariidae), the most common parasite taxa, were 24.3%, 0.9 and 37.9%, 0.7, respectively. Bolbosoma vasculosum (Acanthocephala: Polymorphidae) and the monogeneans Heteraxinoides atlanticus (Monogenea: Heteraxinidae) and Pseudaxine trachuri (Monogenea: Gastrocotylidae) were comparatively rare. The depauperate helminth fauna of the oceanic horse mackerel at Madeira compared to other geographical regions of the north-eastern Atlantic, namely the Azores banks and the West African coast, may be attributed to the paucity of nutrients off oceanic islands and to a low density of the fish population.