Abstract

Terrestrial tortoises, Chersina angulata (Schweigger, 1812), Kinixys belliana belliana Gray, 1831, K. lobatsiana Power, 1927, K. natalensis Hewitt, 1935, and Stigmochelys pardalis (Bell, 1828), both wild (n  =  84) and captive (n  =  70), were examined for hematozoans from the provinces of Gauteng, Kwazulu-Natal, North West, and Western Cape, South Africa. In Giemsa-stained blood films, 2 species of hemoproteids were identified, 1 previously described, that is, Haemoproteus testudinalis (Laveran, 1905) Wenyon, 1915, the other unknown. Haemoproteus testudinalis occurred in 2/27 wild K. lobatsiana and 1/41 S. pardalis and 2/2 captive K. lobatsiana from the North West and Gauteng, respectively, whereas Haemoproteus sp. A was recorded in 1 of 3 captive K. natalensis from Kwazulu-Natal. Haemoproteus testudinalis had pale blue-stained, often vacuolated, halteridial macrogametocytes, pale pink-stained microhalterdial to halteridial microgametocytes, and dark, scattered, often bacillus-like hemozoin granules. Haemoproteus natalensis n. sp. had ameboid growth stages, blue-stained halteridial to circumnuclear macrogametocytes, purple-stained circumnuclear microgametocytes, and brownish, often clustered, pigment granules. It is recommended that Haemoproteus balazuci Dias, 1953, become a junior synonym of H. testudinalis.

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