ABSTRACT

The summer tanager, Piranga rubra (L., 1758) is a medium-sized songbird formerly belonging to the tanager family Thraupidae but now has been placed within the family Cardinalidae. Nothing is known about the coccidian parasites of this stunningly colorful bird. Feces from 2 P. rubra found dead in McCurtain County, Oklahoma were collected and examined for coccidia; 1 was found to be passing a new species of Isospora. Oocysts of Isospora mccurtainensis n. sp. are subspheroidal to ovoidal with a smooth bilayered wall, measure (length × width [L × W]) 21.7 × 19.5 μm, and have a L/W ratio of 1.1; a micropyle and oocyst residuum were absent but a bilobed and refractile polar granule is present. Sporocysts are ellipsoidal and measure 13.9 × 8.6 μm, L/W 1.6; a knoblike Stieda body is present as well as a distinct sub-Stieda body. The sporocyst residuum is composed of a granular compact cluster with a dense, irregular mass of granules lying between and dispersed among the sporozoites. This is the first coccidian reported from P. rubra and, most important, only the first known from the Cardinalidae in the mainland of the United States.

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