Eimeria aegoliusia n. sp. (Sporozoa: Eimeriidae) from the northern saw-whet owl Aegolius acadicus (Gmelin) (Strigiformes: Strigidae) in Mexico
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A new coccidian species (Chromista: Sporozoa: Eimeriidae) collected from the northern saw-whet owl Aegolius acadicus (Gmelin) is reported from Mexico. Eimeria aegoliusia n. sp. has subspherical oöcysts, with smooth, bi-layered wall. Micropyle and oöcyst residuum are both absent and a polar granule is present. To date, eight species of Eimeria Schneider, 1875 have been described from strigiform birds. Mean dimensions of sporulated oöcysts (23.7 × 22.4 µm) and sporocysts (12.8 × 8.3 µm) appear to be considerably smaller than those from other Eimeria spp. with owl definitive hosts: E. atheni Chauhan & Jain, 1979; E. megabubonis Upton, Campbell, Weigel & McKown, 1990; E. spenotytoi Carini, 1939; E. strigis Kutzer, 1963; and E. varia Upton, Campbell, Weigel & McKown. Dimensions of these sporulated oöcysts appear to be larger than those in E. bemricki Averbeck, Cooney, Guarnera, Redig & Stromberg, 1998. The presence of polar granules and their number allowed differentiation from E. bubonis Cawthorn & Stockdale, 1981 and E. nycteae Volf, Koudela & Modry, 1999. This is the first description of an eimeriid coccidian infecting A. acadicus.
Dr Spencer G. Sealy for his comments and support during this study. Biól. Juan Procopio Hernández and Biól. Uriel Marín are greatly acknowledged for their support during the field trips. We also acknowledge Scott Weidensaul, David Brinker and Katherine Duffy from Project Owlnet (www.projectowlnet.org) for donating mist nets and methodology support. Our special acknowledgement to Cacalomacan and Amanalco Ejidal Communities for their support and accommodation at theirs parks.
This study was funded by Institute for Biodiversity Research, Development & Sustainability (iBIRDS, Mexico) and Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, grant 4328/2017/CI.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All applicable institutional, national and international guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. This research was approved by the University of Manitoba Animal Care Committee. The Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, México (SEMARNAT) provided monitoring permits (SGPA/DGSV/06376/10 and SGPA/DGVS/07613/14).
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