Little is known of the blood parasites of coral reef fishes and nothing of how they are transmitted. We examined 497 fishes from 22 families, 47 genera, and 78 species captured at Lizard Island, Australia, between May 1997 and April 2003 for hematozoa and ectoparasites. We also investigated whether gnathiid isopods might serve as potential vectors of fish hemogregarines. Fifty-eight of 124 fishes caught in March 2002 had larval gnathiid isopods, up to 80 per host fish, and these were identified experimentally to be of 2 types, Gnathia sp. A and Gnathia sp. B. Caligid copepods were also recorded but no leeches. Hematozoa, found in 68 teleosts, were broadly hemogregarines of 4 types and an infection resembling Haemohormidium. Mixed infections (hemogregarine with Haemohormidium) were also observed, but no trypanosomes were detected in blood films. The hemogregarines were identified as Haemogregarina balistapi n. sp., Haemogregarina tetraodontis, possibly Haemogregarina bigemina, and an intraleukocytic hemogregarine of uncertain status. Laboratory-reared Gnathia sp. A larvae, fed experimentally on brushtail tangs, the latter heavily infected with the H. bigemina-like hemogregarine, contained hemogregarine gamonts and possibly young oocysts up to 3 days postfeeding, but no firm evidence that gnathiids transmit hemogregarines at Lizard Island was obtained.
HEMATOZOA OF TELEOSTS FROM LIZARD ISLAND, AUSTRALIA, WITH SOME COMMENTS ON THEIR POSSIBLE MODE OF TRANSMISSION AND THE DESCRIPTION OF A NEW HEMOGREGARINE SPECIES
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Nico J. Smit, Alexandra S. Grutter, Robert D. Adlard, Angela J. Davies; HEMATOZOA OF TELEOSTS FROM LIZARD ISLAND, AUSTRALIA, WITH SOME COMMENTS ON THEIR POSSIBLE MODE OF TRANSMISSION AND THE DESCRIPTION OF A NEW HEMOGREGARINE SPECIES. J Parasitol 1 August 2006; 92 (4): 778–788. doi: https://doi.org/10.1645/GE-756R.1
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