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Two new species of coccidia (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from leaf-tailed geckos, Uroplatus spp. (Sauria: Gekkonidae) from Madagascar, including a new host of Eimeria brygooi Upton & Barnard, 1987


During May and June 2015, four common leaf-tailed geckos, Uroplatus fimbriatus (Schneider), five satanic leaf-tailed geckos, Uroplatus phantasticus (Boulenger), and four mossy leaf-tailed geckos, Uroplatus sikorae Boettger originally collected from Madagascar and housed at the Dallas Zoo, USA, had their faeces examined for coccidian parasites. Eight (62%) geckos were found to be passing oöcysts, including a new eimerian, a new isosporan and a previously described eimerian. Three of four (75%) U. fimbratus (type-host) and one of five (20%) U. phantasticus were infected with Eimeria schneideri n. sp.; oöcysts were subspheroidal to ellipsoidal with a bi-layered wall and measured (mean length × width, L × W) 15.1 × 13.5 µm, with a length/width (L/W) ratio of 1.1. A micropyle and oöcyst residuum were absent but one to many polar granules were present. Sporocysts were ovoidal, 6.9 × 5.3 µm, L/W = 1.3. Stieda, sub-Stieda and para-Stieda bodies were absent. A globular sporocyst residuum was present as dispersed granules. Four of five (80%) U. phantasticus harboured Isospora boulengeri n. sp.; oöcysts were subpheroidal to ellipsoidal with a bi-layered wall and measured 17.3 × 16.0 µm, L/W = 1.1. A micropyle and oöcyst residuum were absent but a polar granule was present. Sporocysts were ellipsoidal, 9.5 × 6.9 µm, L/W = 1.4. Stieda and sub-Stieda bodies were present but a para-Stieda body was absent. A globular sporocyst residuum was present with dispersed granules. In addition, one of four (25%) U. sikorae was infected with an eimerian indistinguishable from Eimeria brygooi Upton & Barnard, 1987, previously reported from Madagascar day gecko, Phelsuma grandis Gray and golddust day gecko, Phelsuma laticauda (Boettger) from Madagascar. These are the first coccidians described from Uroplatus spp.

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We thank Drs S.L. Gardner (HWML) and S.E. Trauth (ASUMZ) for expert curatorial assistance. We also thank Dr. D. Modrý (Brno, Czech Republic) for providing some information from his unpublished dissertation.


This publication was made possible in part by an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Grant # 2P20GM103432. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NIH.

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Correspondence to Chris T. McAllister.

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McAllister, C.T., Scott Seville, R. & Hartdegen, R. Two new species of coccidia (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from leaf-tailed geckos, Uroplatus spp. (Sauria: Gekkonidae) from Madagascar, including a new host of Eimeria brygooi Upton & Barnard, 1987. Syst Parasitol 93, 815–823 (2016).

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  • Compact Mass
  • Polar Granule
  • Refractile Body
  • Coccidian Parasite
  • Stieda Body