Neobenedenia girellae, a capsalid monogenean, is a destructive fish parasite. We studied the lipid content and fatty acid composition of N. girellae and the skin and cutaneous mucus of a host fish, the amberjack Seriola dumerili (Carangidae). The lipid content of adult N. girellae was less than one-fourth that of both the skin and cutaneous mucus of its host. Adult N. girellae, S. dumerili skin and mucus had a relatively high weight-percentage of C16:0, C18:1(n-9), C18:0 and C22:6(n-3) fatty acids. When S. dumerili were fed a diet supplemented with [13C] fatty acids, [13C] fatty acids were detected in S. dumerili skin and adult N. girellae on S. dumerili, but no [13C] fatty acids were detected in the S. dumerili cutaneous mucus. In addition, the epidermis of S. dumerili, attached with N. girellae, was markedly thin. These results suggest that N. girellae feeds primarily on host epithelial cells. We then infected 2 host fishes, S. dumerili and the spotted halibut Verasper variegatus (Pleuronectidae; a host less susceptible to N. girellae infection), and compared the fatty acid composition of N. girellae with that of the skin and cutaneous mucus of the hosts. The fatty acid profiles from all samples were qualitatively and quantitatively similar. Thus, the fatty acid composition of the host may not contribute to the difference in susceptibility between S. dumerili and V. variegatus. These results may serve to develop new strategies for the control of N. girellae infections.