Life cycle of Hepatozoon affluomaloti sp. n. (Apicomplexa: Haemogregarinidae) in crag lizards (Sauria: Cordylidae) and in culicine mosquitoes from South Africa
Van As, Johann
Davies, Angela J.
Smit, Nico J.
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A new haemogregarine species Hepatozoon affluomaloti sp. n. is described from erythrocytes in the peripheral blood of crag lizards Pseudocordylus melanotus (Smith) and Pseudocordylus subviridis (Smith) (Sauria: Cordylidae) from mountainous regions in the Eastern Free State, South Africa. This species can be distinguished from all other congeners based on its large size, staining properties and life cycle development in its vector, Culex (Afroculex) lineata (Theobald) (Diptera: Culicidae). Mature gamonts stain mostly uniformly pinkish-purple with Giemsa, sometimes containing darker azurophilic granules anterior and posterior to the nucleus. The reflexed posterior extremity of the gamont stage sometimes stains slightly deeper purple and the nucleus is dense and placed in the posterior third of the parasite body. Merogonic stages of this haemogregarine occur in the liver tissues of P. melanotus with dizoic meronts. Macromeronts contains 2-7 macromerozoites and micromeronts contains 9-24 micromerozoites. Sporogonic developmental stages found in the proposed final host and vector, C. lineata, include large oocysts, measuring 54 × 48 µm on average. Sporulating oocysts with 8 nuclei are present in mosquitoes 6-7 days post-feeding on infected lizards. Sporocysts with mature sporozoites measure 31.0 × 21.8 µm on average and each contains 2-8 large sporozoites. It is suggested that transmission of infective sporozoites is achieved through predation of lizards on mosquitoes