Skip to main content

Ascaridia nymphii n. sp. (Nematoda: Ascaridida) from the alimentary tract of a severely emaciated dead cockatiel Nymphicus hollandicus


This report describes Ascaridia nymphii n. sp., a new species isolated from the alimentary tract of cockatiel Nymphicus hollandicus in Japan. More than 63 nematodes were found in the formalin-fixed small intestine, ventriculus, proventriculus and crop of a 48-day-old young cockatiel that died after exhibiting severe emaciation. No nematode eggs were observed in the faecal examination performed while the cockatiel was alive, but Cryptosporidium oocysts were found. The intestinal mucosa was damaged considerably. Male worms had two alate spicules, well-developed precloacal sucker and a tail with ventrolateral caudal alae and mainly 11 pairs of papillae. Nuclear partial (813 bp) 18S ribosomal RNA gene (18S rDNA) sequences obtained from two female samples were mutually identical. They respectively showed 99.1 and 98.6 % identities to those from Ascaridia numidae and Ascaridia galli. Phylogenetic analysis using this locus indicated the present nematode as Ascaridia species. The mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 gene (nad2) sequences obtained for four samples were mutually identical. They respectively showed 98.7, 85.7 and 82.2 % identities with those from Ascaridia columbae, Ascaridia sp. and A. galli. Combining the morphological and sequencing data from two loci, the present nematode was identified as A. nymphii n. sp., which is closely related with A. columbae. This report is the first of a study examining the distribution of Ascaridia species in captive parrots in Japan. This study also identified the trachea and cloaca, like Cryptosporidium baileyi, as the possible location of Cryptosporidium avian genotype V in avian hosts.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5


  • Abe N, Makino I (2010) Multilocus genotypic analysis of Cryptosporidium isolates from cockatiels, Japan. Parasitol Res 106:1491–1497

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Avcioglu H, Burgu A, Bölükbaş CS (2008) Ascaridia numidae (Leiper, 1908; Travassos, 1913) in rock partridge (Alectoris chukar) in Turkey. Parasitol Res 102:527–530

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Current WL, Upton SJ, Haynes TB (1986) The life cycle of Cryptosporidium baileyi n. sp. (Apicomplexa, Cryptosporidiidae) infecting chickens. J Protozool 33:289–296

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Hartwich G, Tscherner W (1979) Ascaridia platyceri n. sp. eine neue Spulwurmart aus Papageien. Angew Parasitol 20:63–67

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Kajerova V, Barus V, Literak I (2004a) Nematodes from the genus Ascaridia parasitizing psittaciform birds: a review and determination key. Vet Med 49:217–223

    Google Scholar 

  • Kajerova V, Barus V, Literak I (2004b) New records of Ascaridia platyceri (Nematoda) in parrots (Psittaciformes). Vet Med 49:237–241

    Google Scholar 

  • Katakam KK, Nejsum P, Kyvsgaard NC, Jørgensen CB, Thamsborg SM (2010) Molecular and parasitological tools for the study of Ascaridia population dynamics in chickens. Avian Pathol 39:81–85

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Kung CC (1949) Notes on some avian species of Ascaridia. J Helminthol 23:95–106

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Liu GH, Shao R, Li JY, Zhou DH, Li H, Zhu XQ (2013) The complete mitochondrial genomes of three parasitic nematodes of birds: a unique gene order and insights into nematode phylogeny. BMC Genomics 14:414

    PubMed Central  CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Mabon JL, Reid WM (1973) Tissue stages in the development of Ascaridia numidae from the guinea fowl (Numida meleagris). J Parasitol 59:1012–1015

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mines JJ (1979) Ascaridia sprenti, a new species of nematode in Australian parrots. Int J Parasitol 9:371–379

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mines JJ, Green PE (1983) Experimental Ascaridia columbae infections in budgerigars. Aust Vet J 60:279–280

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Nakamura AA, Homem CG, da Silva AM, Meireles MV (2014) Diagnosis of gastric cryptosporidiosis in birds using a duplex real-time PCR assay. Vet Parasitol 205:7–13

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Qi M, Wang R, Ning C, Li X, Zhang L, Jian F, Sun Y, Xiao L (2011) Cryptosporidium spp. in pet birds: gastric diversity and potential public health significance. Exp Parasitol 128:336–340

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Ramadan HH, Znada NYA (1992) Morphology and life history of Ascaridia galli in the domestic fowl that are raised in Jeddah. J K A U Sci 4:87–99

    Google Scholar 

  • Robbins KM, Ye W, Fletcher OJ (2011) Identification of Ascaridia numidae in guinea fowl (Numida meleagris) and association with elevated mortality. Avian Dis 55:151–154

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Ryan U, Hijjawi N (2015) New developments in Cryptosporidium research. Int J Parasitol 45:367–373

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Schock RC, Cooper R (1978) Internal parasitisms in captive birds. Mod Vet Pract 59:439–443

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Webster WA (1982) Internal parasites found in exotic birds imported into Canada. Can Vet J 23:230

    PubMed Central  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Wehr EE, Hwong JC (1964) The life cycle and morphology of Ascaridia columbae (Gmelin, 1790) Travassos, 1913 (Nematoda: Ascarididae) in the domestic pigeon (Columba livia domestica). J Parasitol 50:131–137

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Yamaguti S (1961) Systema Helminthum. 3. The nematodes of vertebrates. Intersci. Publ, New York and London

    Google Scholar 

Download references


This study was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) (26460818) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).

Conflict of interest

None declared.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Niichiro Abe.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Abe, N., Matsuo, K. & Makino, I. Ascaridia nymphii n. sp. (Nematoda: Ascaridida) from the alimentary tract of a severely emaciated dead cockatiel Nymphicus hollandicus . Parasitol Res 114, 4281–4288 (2015).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Ascaridia nymphii n. sp.
  • Cockatiel
  • Nymphicus hollandicus
  • Nuclear 18S ribosomal RNA gene
  • Mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 gene
  • Cryptosporidium avian genotype V