Systematic Parasitology

, Volume 61, Issue 1, pp 47–52 | Cite as

Plasmodium dominicana n. sp. (Plasmodiidae: Haemospororida) from Tertiary Dominican amber

  • George PoinarJr
Article

Abstract

Plasmodium dominicana n. sp. is described from Tertiary Dominican Republic amber. The description is based on oöcysts, sporozoites and possible microgametes and an ookinete in the body-cavity of a female Culex mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae: Culicinae). The large pedunculated oöcysts, together with the culicine vector, align the fossil with the extant avain malaria species, P. juxtanucleare Versiani & Gomes, 1941. Based on the host range of P. juxtanucleare, a possible primary host would have been a member of the order Galliformes. This discovery establishes a minimum age for the genus Plasmodium Marchiafava & Celli, 1885 and places avian malaria in the Americas by the mid-Tertiary. It also supports earlier theories that some species of primate malaria could have evolved in the Americas.

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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • George PoinarJr
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA

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