Systematic Parasitology

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

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

  • George PoinarJr


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.


Malaria Plasmodium Host Range Dominican Republic Early Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bennett, G.F., Eyles, D.E., Warren, M., Cheong, W.H. 1963Plasmodium juxtanucleare(?), a newly discovered parasite of domestic fowl in MalayaSingapore Medical Journal4172173Google Scholar
  2. Bennett, G.F., McWilson, W., Cheong, W.H. 1966Biology of the Malaysian strain of Plasmodium juxtanucleare Versiani and Gomes. II. The sporogonic stages in Culex(Culex)sitiensWiedmannJournal of Parasitology52647652PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Bruce-Chwatt, L.J. 1988History of malaria from prehistory to eradicationWernsdorfer, W.H.McGregor, I. eds. Malaria, principles and practice of malariologyChurchill LivingstoneLondon160Google Scholar
  4. Draper, G., Mann, P., Lewis, J.F. 1994HispaniolaDonovan, SJackson, T.A. eds. Caribbean geology: an introduction.The University of the West Indies Publishers’ AssociationKingston, Jamaica129150Google Scholar
  5. Fallon, S.M., Ricklefs, R.E., Latta, S.C., Bermingham, E. 2004Temporal stability of insular avian malarial parasite communitiesProceedings of the Royal Society of London B271493500CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Foster, W.A., Walker, E.D. 2002Mosquitoes (Culicidae)Mullen, GDurden, L. eds. Medical and veterinary entomologyAcademic PressSan Diego203262Google Scholar
  7. Garnham, P.C.C. 1966Malaria parasites and other haemosporidiaBlackwell Scientific PublicationsOxford1114Google Scholar
  8. Iturralde-Vincent, M.A., MacPhee, R.D.E. 1996Age and Paleogeographic origin of Dominican amberScience27318501852Google Scholar
  9. Jeffery, G.M. 1944Investigations on the mosquito transmission of Plasmodium lophurae Coggeshall, 1938The American Journal of Hygiene39251263Google Scholar
  10. Kissinger, J.C., Souza, P.C.A., Soares, C.O., Paul, R., Wahl, A.M., Rathore, D., McCutchan, T.F., Krettli, A.U. 2002Molecular phylogenetic analysis of the avian malarial parasite Plasmodium(Novyella)juxtanucleareJournal of Parasitology88769773PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Krettli, A.U. 1972Pedunculate oocysts in a Brazilian strain of Plasmodium juxtanucleareJournal of Parasitology58630631PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. McGhee, R.B. 1951The adaption of the avian malarial parasite Plasmodium lophurae to a continuous existence in infant miceJournal of Infectious Diseases888697PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Perkins, F.O., Barta, J.R., Clopton, R.E., Pierce, M.A., Upton, S.J. 2000Phylum. Apicomplexa Levine1970Lee, J.J.Leedale, G.F.Bradbury, P. eds. An illustrated guide to the Protozoa. 2nd Edition.Society of Protozoologists Vol. 1Lawrence Kansas190369Google Scholar
  14. Poinar, G.O.,Jr 1995First fossil soft ticks, Ornithodoros antiquus n. sp. (Acari: Argasidae) in Dominican amber, with evidence of their mammalian hostExperientia51384387Google Scholar
  15. Poinar G.O. Jr (2005) Culex malariager n. sp. (Diptera: Culicidae) from Dominican amber: the first fossil mosquito vector of Plasmodium. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington (in press).Google Scholar
  16. Poinar, G.O.,Jr, Poinar, R. 1999The amber forestPrinceton University PressPrinceton239Google Scholar
  17. Poinar, G.O.,Jr, Poinar, R. 2004Paleoleishmania proterus n. gen., n. sp., (Trypanosomatidae: Kinetoplastida) from Cretaceous Burmese amberProtista155305310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Riper, C.van,III, Atkinson, C.T., Seed, T.M. 1994Plasmodia of birdsKreier, J.P. eds. Parasitic Protozoa2Academic Press Vol 7San Diego73140Google Scholar
  19. Schlee, D. 1990Das Bernstein-KabinettStuttgarter Beiträger für Naturkunde, Ser. C281100Google Scholar
  20. Smith, A.C., Smith, D.G., Funnell, B.M. 1994Atlas of Mesozoic and Cenozoic coastlinesCambridge University PressCambridge99Google Scholar
  21. Spielman, A., D’Antonio, M. 2001MosquitoFaber & FaberLondon247Google Scholar
  22. Waters, A.P., Higgins, D.G., McCutchan, T.F. 1991Plasmodium falciparum appears to have arisen as a result of lateral transfer between avian and human hostsProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA8831403144PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Zavortink, T.J., Poinar, G.O.,Jr 2000Anopheles(Nyssorhynchus)dominicanus sp. n. (Diptera: Culicidae) from Dominican amberAnnals of the Entomological Society of America9312301235Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations