Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus) cyanomitrae n. sp. (Haemosporida: Haemoproteidae) was found in the olive sunbird, Cyanomitra olivacea (Nectariniidae), in rain forests of tropical Africa. It is described based on the morphology of its blood stages and a segment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (GenBank accession FJ404696), which can be used for molecular identification and diagnosis of this species. Fully grown gametocytes of new parasite are similar to many other species of haemoproteids of passeriform birds, so are not easily distinguishable from many of them at this stage of their development. Haemoproteus cyanomitrae can be readily distinguished from the majority of described species of avian haemoproteids, primarily due to its growing dumbbell-shaped gametocytes and advanced halteridial gametocytes, both of which do not touch the envelope of infected erythrocytes along their entire margin. Pigment granules are most frequently clamped in 1, or several, groups in gametocytes, with larger group of pigment granules usually located close to one end of the gametocyte; asymmetric position of pigment granules in gametocytes a characteristic feature of this parasite. Illustrations of blood stages of the new species are given, and phylogenetic analysis identifies DNA lineages closely related to this parasite, which is widespread in African rain forests, but has been recorded only in the olive sunbird so far. It is probable that H. cyanomitrae is transmitted throughout the range of the olive sunbird in Africa.

You do not currently have access to this content.