Folia Parasitologica, vol. 60 (2013), issue 3

Folia Parasitologica 60[3] 225-231 (2013) | DOI: 10.14411/fp.2013.025

Plasmodium, Saurocytozoon and Haemocystidium parasites (Apicomplexa: Plasmodiidae) from the rock agama, Laudakia caucasia (Sauria: Agamidae), in southern Asia

Sam R. Telford Jr.
The Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

Abstract: The rock agama, Laudakia caucasia Eichwald (Agamidae) is host to Plasmodium caucasica sp. n. and Saurocytozoon agamidorum sp. n. in western Pakistan. Plasmodium caucasica is characterized by very large meronts, 11-21 by 8-17 µm that produce 32-67 merozoites, which nearly fill the host erythrocyte, and smaller, ovoid to elongate gametocytes, 6-14 by 2.5-6 µm, with length by width (LW) 21-55 µm2, and L/W ratio 1.0-4.0. Host cells are usually mature erythrocytes. In Azerbaijan, P. caucasica parasitizes immature erythroid cells. Dimensions of meronts are 10-16 by 6-12 µm, and merozoite numbers are 12-44. Gametocytes are 6-14 by 3-6 µm, with LW 31-56 µm2, and L/W ratio 1.0-4.0. Saurocytozoon agamidorum sp. n. gametocytes are 6.5-13 µm in diameter, with LW 35-79 µm2, and L/W ratio 1.0-2.2. They occupy lymphocytes as host cells, which are greatly distorted by gametocyte presence and often show nuclei nearly divided into two portions, one portion at each end of the cell. Haemocystidium grahami (Shortt, 1922), redescribed from material found in L. caucasia from Azerbaijan, has rounded to elongate gametocytes, 8-19.5 by 4-8 µm, LW 60.5-102 µm2, and L/W ratio 1.0-4.5. The prominent light golden pigment granules often coalesce to nearly cover the surface of the gametocyte. The presence of P. caucasica and S. agamidorum extends the range of the two genera in saurian hosts throughout much of the southern Asia mainland.

Keywords: blood parasites, plasmodiids, Plasmodium caucasica sp. n., Saurocytozoon agamidorum sp. n., Haemocystidium grahami, lizards, Pakistan, Azerbaijan

Received: November 26, 2012; Accepted: February 4, 2013; Published: July 23, 2013


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