n African Zoology - First record of an intraleucocytic haemogregarine (Adeleorina: Haemogregarinidae) from South African tortoises of the species (Cryptodira: Testudinidae) - : short communication

Volume 49, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X
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To date, four intraerythrocytic apicomplexans, namely the haemogregarines and , and the haemoproteids and , have been described from South African land tortoises. Recently, an intraleucocytic haemogregarine was observed in one species of tortoise, , from the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Gamonts were identified in the monocytes and lymphocytes of 5/126 (4%) , but no additional stages were detected. Mixed infections with were observed for 2/5 (40%) of the parasitized , but the intraleucocytic gamont stages were larger than the intraerythrocytic gamont stages of both and . The only other record of a chelonian intraleucocytic haemogregarine is of , with stages described from the red and white blood cells of neotropical terrapins. Thus, the report of an intraleucocytic haemogregarine infecting a terrestrial tortoise from Africa is significant, although its taxonomic placement remains problematic at present.

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