Gregarines of Insects
The subclass Gregarinasina currently encompasses about 220 genera and 1,500 named species. The modern day gregarines are a monophyletic group associated with invertebrates, including various polychaetes (marine worms), oligochaetes (earthworms), and arthropods. The majority of the gregarines have been described from insect hosts, including a wide variety of aquatic insects and many coleopterans. Normally, these organisms are capable of infecting a certain group of hosts without the involvement of a vector or secondary host. It is likely that the current list of gregarine species represents only a small percentage of the gregarines existing in nature. Gregarines display a high degree of host specificity, and may be restricted to a particular tissue (or site) of a specific life stage of a single insect species. However, certain neogregarines (Mattesiaspp.) have been experimentally transmitted to insects of different orders. In many cases, insects may harbor a gregarine complex....
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