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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 43:55-59 (2000)  -  doi:10.3354/dao043055

A new species of Eimeria (Apicomplexa, Eimeriidae) from the weedy sea dragon Phyllopteryx taeniolatus (Osteichthyes: Syngnathidae)

Steve J. Upton1,*, M. Andrew Stamper2, Andrea L. Osborn1, Sonia L. Mumford1, Laura Zwick3, Michael J. Kinsel3, Robin M. Overstreet4

1Division of Biology, Ackert Hall, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506, USA
2New England Aquarium, Central Wharf, Boston, Massachusetts 02110, USA
3Laboratory of Veterinary Diagnostic Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61802, USA
4The University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, PO Box 7000, Ocean Springs, Mississippi 39566, USA

ABSTRACT: A new species of intestinal coccidian is described from the weedy or common sea dragon Phyllopteryx taeniolatus housed at the New England Aquarium in Boston and at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, USA. Live oocysts of Eimeria phyllopterycis sp. n. are spherical, 30.9 (28.0-34.4) µm, with a thin, single-layered wall. Both a micropyle and oocyst residuum are absent and a large polar granule is sometimes present. Sporocysts are ellipsoidal and elongate, 24.3 × 10.4 (23.4-25.6 x 9.2-11.2) µm, with Stieda and substieda bodies; shape index (length/width) 2.33 (2.14-2.70). A sporocyst residuum is present, consisting of numerous granules of various sizes. Sporozoites each possess 3 refractile bodies. Preliminary evidence suggests that the coccidian may affect the health of sea dragons; however, it could not be determined whether this parasite caused significant morbidity or mortality.

KEY WORDS: Apicomplexa · Coccidia · Eimeria phyllopterycis · Pathology · Phyllopteryx taeniolatus · Sea dragon

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