Haemoproteus (Haemoproteus) jenniae n. sp. (Haemosporida: Haemoproteidae) is described from a Galapagos bird, the swallow-tailed gull Creagrus furcatus (Charadriiformes, Laridae), based on the morphology of its blood stages and segments of the mitochondrial cytochrome b (cyt b) gene. The most distinctive features of H. jenniae development are the circumnuclear gametocytes occupying all cytoplasmic space in infected erythrocytes and the presence of advanced, growing gametocytes in which the pellicle is closely appressed to the erythrocyte envelope but does not extend to the erythrocyte nucleus. This parasite is distinguishable from Haemoproteus larae, which produces similar gametocytes and parasitizes closely related species of Laridae. Haemoproteus jenniae can be distinguished from H. larae primarily due to (1) the predominantly amoeboid outline of young gametocytes, (2) diffuse macrogametocyte nuclei which do not possess distinguishable nucleoli, (3) the consistent size and shape of pigment granules, and (4) the absence of rod-like pigment granules from gametocytes. Additionally, fully-grown gametocytes of H. jenniae cause both the marked hypertrophy of infected erythrocytes in width and the rounding up of the host cells, which is not the case in H. larae. Phylogenetic analyses identified the DNA lineages that are associated with H. jenniae and showed that this parasite is more closely related to the hippoboscid-transmitted (Hippoboscidae) species than to the Culicoides spp.-transmitted (Ceratopogonidae) species of avian hemoproteids. Genetic divergence between morphologically well-differentiated H. jenniae and the hippoboscid-transmitted Haemoproteus iwa, the closely related parasite of frigatebirds (Fregatidae, Pelecaniformes), is only 0.6%; cyt b sequences of these parasites differ only by 1 base pair. This is the first example of such a small genetic difference in the cyt b gene between species of the subgenus Haemoproteus. In a segment of caseinolytic protease C gene (ClpC), genetic divergence is 4% between H. jenniae and H. iwa. This study corroborates the conclusion that hippoboscid-transmitted Haemoproteus parasites infect not only Columbiformes birds but also infect marine birds belonging to Pelecaniformes and Charadriiformes. We conclude that the vertebrate host range should be used cautiously in identification of subgenera of avian Haemoproteus species and that the phylogenies based on the cyt b gene provide evidence for determining the subgeneric position of avian hemoproteids.

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