Systematic Parasitology

, Volume 96, Issue 1, pp 111–115 | Cite as

A new species of Eimeria Schneider, 1885 (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from Harris’s antelope squirrel Ammospermophilus harrisii Audubon & Bachman (Rodentia: Sciuridae)

  • John A. HnidaEmail author


Eimeria ammospermophili n. sp. (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) is described from 2 of 29 (7%) Harris’s antelope squirrels Ammospermophilus harrisii Audubon & Bachman in Arizona, USA. Sporulated oöcysts of this new species are ovoidal to ellipsoidal, 24–32 × 20–25 (29.0 × 22.7) µm, with a pitted, bi-layered wall, an oöcyst residuum and, occasionally, a polar granule. Sporocysts are ellipsoidal, 10–12 × 7–9 (11.0 × 7.9) µm, with a Stieda body and sporocyst residuum; sporozoites are elongate with a spheroidal anterior refractile body and an ellipsoidal posterior refractile body. In addition, sporulated oöcysts of Eimeria vilasi Dorney, 1962 are described from A. harrisii. This is the first report on the coccidia of this host species.



The research was possible because the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department kindly permitted fieldwork within Usery Mountain Regional Park.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable institutional, national and international guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. The protocol (file number 2889) was approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of Midwestern University, Glendale, Arizona, USA. Scientific Collecting License SP769543 was issued by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.


  1. Barnard, S. M., & Upton, S. J. (1994). A veterinary guide to the parasites of reptiles. Volume 1, Protozoa. Malabar: Krieger Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  2. Berto, B., McIntosh, P. D., & Lopes, C. W. G. (2014). Studies on coccidian oocysts (Apicomplexa: Eucoccidiorida). Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Parasitology, 23, 1–15.Google Scholar
  3. Best, T. L., Titus, A. S., Caesar, K., & Lewis, C. L. (1990). Ammospermophilus harrisii. Mammalian Species, 366, 1–7.Google Scholar
  4. Dorney, R. S. (1962). A survey of the coccidia of some Wisconsin Sciuridae with descriptions of three new species. Journal of Protozoology, 9, 258–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dorney, R. S. (1965). Eimeria tuscarorensis n. sp. (Protozoa: Eimeriidae) and redescriptions of other coccidia of the woodchuck, Marmota monax. Journal of Parasitology, 12, 423–426.Google Scholar
  6. Duszynski, D. W., & Wilber, P. G. (1997). A guideline for the preparation of species descriptions in the Eimeriidae. Journal of Parasitology, 83, 333–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fleming, W. J., Georgi, J. R., & Caslick, J. W. (1979). Parasites of the woodchuck (Marmota monax) in central New York state. Proceedings of the Helminthological Society of Washington, 46, 115–127.Google Scholar
  8. Hnida, J. A. (2016). New host and distribution records of Eimeria callospermophili. Comparative Parasitology, 83, 122–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hnida, J. A., & Flocken, A. (2016). Eimeria vilasi (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the round-tailed ground squirrel (Xerospermophilus tereticaudus). The Southwestern Naturalist, 61, 331–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hill, T. P., & Duszynski, D. W. (1986). Coccidia (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from sciurid rodents (Eutamias, Sciurus, Tamiasciurus spp.) from the western United States and northern Mexico with descriptions of two new species. Journal of Protozoology, 33, 282–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hilton, D. F. J., & Mahrt, J. L. (1971). Eimeria spermophili n. sp. and other Eimeria spp. (Sporozoa: Eimeriidae) from three species of Alberta Spermophilus (Rodentia: Sciuridae). Canadian Journal of Zoology, 49, 699–701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hoffmeister, D. F. (1986). Mammals of Arizona. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press.Google Scholar
  13. Mantooth, S. J., Hafner, D. J., Bryson, R. W., Jr., & Riddle, B. R. (2013). Phylogeographic diversification of antelope squirrels (Ammospermophilus) across North American deserts. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 109, 949–967.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. McAllister, C. T., Upton, S. J., & Earle, B. D. (1991). Eimeria callispermophili and E. morainensis (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the Mexican ground squirrel, Spermophilus mexicanus (Rodentia: Sciuridae), in south central Texas, USA. Transactions of the American Microscopical Society, 110, 71–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. McQuistion, T. E., & Wright, J. M. (1984). The prevalence and seasonal distribution of coccidial parasites of woodchucks (Marmota monax). Journal of Parasitology, 70, 994–996.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ryan, M. M., Decker, K. H., & Duszynski, D. W. (2001). Prevalence of Eimeria (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) in reintroduced Gunnison’s prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni). The American Midland Naturalist, 145, 409–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Seville, R. S., & Patrick, M. J. (2001). Eimeria spp. (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) in Pennsylvania with a description of one new species. Journal of Parasitology, 87, 165–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Wilber, P. G., Duszynski, D. W., Upton, S. J., Seville, R. S., & Corliss, J. O. (1998). A revision of the taxonomy and nomenclature of the Eimeria spp. (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from rodents in the Tribe Marmotini (Sciuridae). Systematic Parasitology, 39, 113–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Wilber, P. G., Hanelt, B., Van Horne, B., & Duszynski, D. W. (1994). Two new species and temporal changes in the prevalence of eimerians in a free-living population of Townsend’s ground squirrels (Spermophilus townsendii) in Idaho. Journal of Parasitology, 80, 251–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Wilson, D. E., & Reeder, D. M. (Eds.) (2005). Mammal species of the world (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Accessed 25 July 2018.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyMidwestern UniversityGlendaleUSA

Personalised recommendations