ABSTRACT

Barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) are the most widespread swallow species in the world. However, little is known about the coccidian parasites of H. rustica. Feces from a single H. rustica nesting in McCurtain County, Oklahoma, were collected in May 2018 and examined for coccidia; the swallow was found to be passing a new species of Eimeria. Oocysts of Eimeria hochatownensis n. sp. are ellipsoidal with a smooth bi-layered wall, measure (L × W) 25.5 × 15.2 μm, and have a length/width (L/W) ratio of 1.7; a micropyle and oocyst residuum are absent, but polar granule(s) are present. Sporocysts are ellipsoidal and measure 12.8 × 6.5 μm, L/W 2.0; a nipple-like Stieda body is present, but sub-Stieda bodies and para-Stieda bodies are absent. The sporocyst residuum is composed of a compact spheroid with a dense, irregular mass of finer granules lying between and dispersed among the sporozoites. This is the first eimerian reported from H. rustica and the family Hirundinidae, and only the fourth Eimeria spp. known from passerine birds of the New World.

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