Folia Parasitologica, vol. 61 (2014), issue 3

Folia Parasitologica 61[3] 201-205 (2014) | DOI: 10.14411/fp.2014.021

Choleoeimeria salaselensis sp. n. (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the gall bladder of the horned viper Cerastes gasperettii (Serpentes: Viperidae) in Saudi Arabia

Abdel-Azeem S. Abdel-Baki1,2, Saleh Al-Quraishy1, Donald W. Duszynski3
1 Zoology Department, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia;
2 Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, Beni-Suef University, Egypt;
3 Department of Biology, University of New Mexico Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Oocyst morphology and endogenous developmental stages are described for Choleoeimeria salaselensis sp. n. from the gall bladder of 10 horned vipers, Cerastes gasperettii Leviton and Anderson, in Saudi Arabia. Sporulated oocysts are ellipsoidal, 23 × 15 (22-25 × 14-17) µm, length/width ratio (L/W) 1.5 (1.4-1.6), each with 4 sporocysts (Eimeria-like), but lack a micropyle, polar granules and oocysts residuum. Sporocysts are ellipsoidal, 8 × 5 (7-9 × 5-6) µm, L/W 1.5 (1.4-1.6), and Stieda, substieda and parasubstieda bodies are all absent, but a longitudinal suture, which divided the sporocysts into 2 plates, is present. Endogenous development is confined to epithelial cells in the bile duct and gall bladder; mature meronts were 11 × 7 µm, each with 10-16 merozoites, microgamonts were ~12 µm wide, and macrogamonts were ~16 µm wide with a prominent nucleus and wall-forming bodies. Given these two diagnostic features, sporocysts with a suture and composed of two plates and endogenous development limited to the biliary epithelium, we believe this coccidium is best classified as a member of Choleoeimeria Paperna et Landsberg, 1989. There are 5 known Eimeria species from vipers that have sporocysts somewhat similar in size to those of our new form, but all of them have much larger oocysts and larger sporocysts, some of which differ significantly in shape; there are not yet any Choleoeimeria species known from the Viperidae.

Keywords: Coccidia, oocysts, endogenous stages, taxonomy, snakes

Received: September 17, 2013; Accepted: December 6, 2013; Prepublished online: January 10, 2014; Published: June 19, 2014


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