Parasitology Research

, Volume 117, Issue 5, pp 1535–1548 | Cite as

Haemogregarina podocnemis sp. nov.: description of a new species of Haemogregarina Danilewsky 1885 (Adeleina: Haemogregarinaidae) in free-living and captive yellow-spotted river turtles Podocnemis unifilis (Testudines: Podocnemididae) from Brazil

  • Letícia Pereira Úngari
  • André Luiz Quagliatto Santos
  • Lucia Helena O’Dwyer
  • Maria Regina Lucas da Silva
  • Natália Nasser de Melo Fava
  • Guilherme Carrara Moreira Paiva
  • Rogério de Melo Costa Pinto
  • Márcia Cristina Cury
Original Paper


Based on morphological, morphometric, and molecular data, we describe a new hemoparasite of the genus Haemogregarina Danilewsky 1885, isolated from the Brazilian aquatic turtle Podocnemis unifilis (Testudines: Podocnemididae). The new species, Haemogregarina podocnemis sp. nov. (Apicomplexa: Haemogregarinidae), is characterized by small trophozoites with a single cytoplasmic vacuole on one side; pre-meronts with nuclear chromatin dispersed in the cytoplasm, with or without cytoplasmic vacuoles; meronts that are usually broad and slightly curved (kidney-shaped), with an average of eight small rectangular nuclei; immature gamonts (bean-shaped) with two morphological types: one with nuclear chromatin dispersed in the cytoplasm and the other with nuclei in the middle of the cell; mature gamonts of two morphological types: one with a length equal to or greater than that of the erythrocyte and the width of the nuclei similar to that of the hemoparasite and the other smaller than the erythrocyte with the width of the nuclei less than that of the hemoparasite. This is the first hemogregarine species described that infects the Brazilian turtle Po. unifilis. These findings highlight the need for further studies of Haemogregarina spp. to better determine the biodiversity of this understudied parasite group.


Haemogregarina Podocnemis unifilis Turtle 



We thank the team at the Laboratory for Teaching and Research in Wild Animals (LAPAS) and the veterinarians at Exotic Life, Rodrigo Rabello and Matheus Rabello, for their assistance in the collection of blood from turtles. We thank Prof. Dr. Lúcio André Viana Dias and Amanda Picelli for providing a positive control for the molecular assay.

Funding information

We thank Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) and Research Foundation of the State of Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG) for their financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

The project was submitted to and approved by the Ethics Committee for Animal Use (CEUA) at the Federal University of Uberlândia, Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, Brazil, (protocol 032/16) and by the Biodiversity Information and Authorization System (SISBIO) (Protocol 51398-1).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Letícia Pereira Úngari
    • 1
    • 2
  • André Luiz Quagliatto Santos
    • 3
  • Lucia Helena O’Dwyer
    • 2
  • Maria Regina Lucas da Silva
    • 2
  • Natália Nasser de Melo Fava
    • 1
  • Guilherme Carrara Moreira Paiva
    • 3
  • Rogério de Melo Costa Pinto
    • 4
  • Márcia Cristina Cury
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratório de Parasitologia, Instituto de Ciências BiomédicasUniversidade Federal de UberlândiaUberlândiaBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto de Biociências, Campus de Botucatu, Departamento de ParasitologiaUNESP-Univ Estadual PaulistaBotucatuBrazil
  3. 3.Laboratório de Ensino e Pesquisa em Animais Silvestres, Faculdade de Medicina VeterináriaUniversidade Federal de UberlândiaMinas GeraisBrazil
  4. 4.Faculdade de Matemática-FAMAT, Centro de Ciências e TecnologiaUniversidade Federal de Uberlândia—UFUUberlândiaBrazil

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