Morphological and molecular data of a species of Schellackia (Apicomplexa: Schellackiidae) parasitizing the common River frog, Amietia delalandii, from the northern parts of South Africa


J Du Buisson2; L H Du Preez1; E C Netherlands
1 North-West University, South Africa;  2 North West University, South Africa;  3 North West University Potchefstroom , South Africa


Haemococcidia (Apicomplexa: Eimeriorina) are heteroxenous parasites comprising three genera namely, Lankesterella Labbé, 1899, Schellackia Reichenow, 1919 and Lainsonia Landau, 1973. The entire replication process of their life cycle occurs in the vertebrate host. Transmission occurs through a mechanical or paratenic haematophagous invertebrate host (in which the parasite lays dormant and no development takes place). Vertebrate hosts are infected during the feeding of or via ingestion of infected hosts or vectors. Thirteen species of Schellackia have been described worldwide, of which twelve species were described from reptiles and one species from anurans. With regards to species of Lankesterella of the eleven recognised species from anurans, six have been reported or described from African anurans. A total of 407 anurans from 32 families were collected and their blood screened for blood parasites. A single common river frog (Amietia delalandii) was found parasitized with a haemococcidian. Based on morphological and molecular findings an unknown species of Schellackia from South African anurans is presented. This is one of only two studies to provide molecular data for species of Lankesterella and Schellackia from African anurans.

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