Folia Parasitologica, vol. 56 (2009), issue 3

Folia Parasitologica 56[3] 173-179 (2009) | 10.14411/fp.2009.021

A redescription of Haemogregarina fitzsimonsi Dias, 1953 and some comments on Haemogregarina parvula Dias, 1953 (Adeleorina: Haemogregarinidae) from southern African tortoises (Cryptodira: Testudinidae), with new host data and distribution records

Courtney A. Cook1, Nico J. Smit1, Angela J. Davies1,2
1 Department of Zoology, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
2 School of Life Sciences, University of Kingston upon Thames, London, Surrey, UK

Blood films were examined from 154 wild and captive tortoises from four provinces of South Africa, including Gauteng, Kwazulu-Natal, North West and Western Cape. The five species of chelonians studied were Chersina angulata (Schweigger), Kinixys belliana belliana (Gray), K. lobatsiana Power, K. natalensis Hewitt, and Stigmochelys pardalis (Bell). Two species of haemogregarines, previously reported from Mozambique, were identified in blood films, namely Haemogregarina fitzsimonsi Dias, 1953 and Haemogregarina parvula Dias, 1953. Additional stages of development (trophozoites and probable meronts, merozoites and immature gamonts) in blood preparations from South Africa warranted the redescription of H. fitzsimonsi. A variety of hosts and broad host distribution range were observed for this haemogregarine, with all five species of tortoises parasitized, wild and captive, from all four provinces, in all seasons. In contrast, only two individuals of K. b. belliana and one S. pardalis, all three captive in Kwazulu-Natal, contained H. parvula with encapsulated stages resembling those of Hemolivia mauritanica (Sergent et Sergent, 1904). For H. fitzsimonsi, parasite prevalences, but not parasitaemias, were significantly higher in captive than wild S. pardalis; captive female S. pardalis also showed a significantly greater prevalence of infection than males, but younger, lighter hosts were not significantly more heavily parasitized than older, heavier individuals. The ticks, Amblyomma marmoreum Koch, 1844 and A. sylvaticum (De Geer, 1778), found attached to some tortoises, may prove to be definitive hosts for the two species of haemogregarines observed.

Keywords: blood parasites, haemogregarines, Haemogregarina fitzsimonsi, Haemogregarina parvula, tortoises, Chersina angulata, Kinixys spp., Stigmochelys pardalis, Africa

Received: February 9, 2009; Accepted: March 23, 2009; Published: September 1, 2009


References

  1. Bouet J. 1909: Sur deux hemocytozaires pigmentes des reptiles. C. R. Soc. Seances Soc. Biol. 66: 43-45
  2. Branch B. 1998: Field Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa. Struik Publishers, Cape Town, 399 pp
  3. Branch B. 2008: Tortoises, Terrapins and Turtles of Africa. Struik Publishers, Cape Town, 128 pp
  4. Commes C. 1919: Hemogregarine et trypanosome d'un chelonian (Cinixis homeana). Bull. Soc. Pathol. Exot. 12: 14-16
  5. Davies A.J., Amado L.L., Cook R.T., Bianchini A., Eiras J.C. 2008: Potential environmental and host gender influences on prevalence of Haemogregarina platessae (Adeleorina: Haemogregarinidae) and suspected Haemohormidium terraenovae (incertae sedis) in Brazilian flounder from the Patos Lagoon Estuary, Southern Brazil. Folia Parasitol. 55: 161-170 Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  6. Davies A.J., Johnston M.R.L. 2000: The biology of some intraerythrocytic parasites of fishes, amphibians and reptiles. Adv. Parasitol. 45: 1-107 Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  7. Dias J.A.T.S. 1953: Subsidios para o estudo dos hematozoarios dos repteis de Mocambique. Mocamb. Bol. Soc. Estud. 23: 41-73
  8. Fielden L.J., Rechav Y. 1994: Attachment sites of the tick Amblyomma marmoreum on its tortoise host, Geochelone pardalis. Exp. Appl. Acarol. 18: 339-349 Go to original source...
  9. Lainson R., Naiff R.D. 1998: Haemoproteus (Apicomplexa: Haemoproteidae) of tortoises and turtles. Proc. R. Soc., Lond. 265: 941-949 Go to original source...
  10. Landau I., Paperna I. 1997: The assignment of Hepatozoon mauritanicum, a tick-transmitted parasite of tortoise, to the genus Hemolivia. Parasite 4: 365-367 Go to original source...
  11. Laveran M.A. 1905: Sur une hemamibe nouvelle de Testudo pardalis. C. R. Soc. Seances Soc. Biol. 59: 176-178
  12. McArthur S., Wilkinson R., Meyer J. 2004: Medicine and Surgery of Tortoises and Turtles. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, 579 pp
  13. Michel J.C. 1973: Hepatozoon mauritanicum (Et. et Ed. Sergent, 1904) n. comb., parasite de Testudo graeca: redescription de la sporogonie chez Hyalomma aegyptium et de la schizogonie tissulaire d'apres le materiel d'E. Brumpt. Ann. Parasitol. Hum. Comp. 48: 11-21 Go to PubMed...
  14. Plimmer H.G. 1912: On the blood parasites found in animals in the Zoological Gardens during the four years 1908-1911. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 27: 406-419
  15. Siddall M.E. 1995: Phylogeny of adeleid blood parasites with a partial systematic revision of the haemogregarine complex. J. Eukaryot. Microbiol. 42: 116-125 Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  16. Sergent E., Sergent E. 1904: Sur une hemogregarine, parasite de Testudo mauritanica. C. R. Soc. Biol. 56: 130-131
  17. Siroky P., Kamler M., Frye F.L., Fictum P., Modry D. 2007: Endogenous development of Hemolivia mauritanica (Apicomplexa: Adeleina: Haemogregarinidae) in the marginated tortoise Testudo marginata (Reptilia: Testudinidae): evidence from experimental infection. Folia Parasitol. 54: 13-18 Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  18. Siroky P., Kamler M., Modry D. 2004: Long-term occurrence of Hemolivia cf. mauritanica (Apicomplexa: Adeleina: Haemogregarinidae) in captive Testudo marginata (Reptilia: Testudinidae): evidence for cyclic merogony? J. Parasitol. 90: 1391-1393 Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  19. Siroky P., Kamler M., Modry D. 2005: Prevalence of Hemolivia mauritanica (Apicomplexa: Adeleina: Haemogregarinidae) in natural populations of tortoises of the genus Testudo in the east Mediterranean region. Folia Parasitol. 52: 359-361 Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  20. Vetter H. 2002: Terralog: Turtles of the World. Vol. 1: Africa, Europe and West Asia. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 96 pp