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J Parasitol. 2003 Apr;89(2):362-8.

Rediscovery and redescription of Plasmodium pifanoi and description of two additional Plasmodium parasites of Venezuelan lizards.

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  • 1The Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA.


Plasmodium pifanoi Scorza and Dagert B., known only from the type host, Ameiva ameiva, is redescribed from Kentropyx calcarata collected in Territorio Amazonas, Venezuela. Schizonts, 6.2 x 4.5 (4-8 x 3-6), produce on average 11.9 (7-16) merozoites. Gametocytes average 12.4 x 6.0 (8-16 x 4-10), with length x width (LW) 72.9 (52-112) and L/W 2.18 (1.1-3.3), and always contain 1-5 prominent vacuoles. Macrogametocytes in active infection are longer than microgametocytes, with greater LW, but gametocytes in chronic infection are not sexually dimorphic in dimension and are slightly smaller. Two additional malarial parasites are described from K. calcarata. Plasmodium lepidoptiformis has small schizonts, 4.6 x 3.2 (3-6 x 2.5-3), that produce 5.1 (4-8) merozoites and commonly resemble a butterfly in appearance. Gametocytes are elongate, 9.0 x 4.3 (7-10 x 3-6), with LW 38.3 (24-51) and L/W 2.2 (1.3-3.3), and sexually dimorphic, with macrogametocytes longer than microgametocytes, with greater LW. Plasmodium minasense calcaratae is characterized by very small, usually fan-shaped, schizonts. 3.4 x 2.6 (2.5-4.5 x 2.0-3.0), that produce 3.9 (3-4) merozoites. Gametocytes are spherical or ovoid, 6.7 x 5.0 (4.5-9.0 x 3.0-7.0), with LW 33.7 (15-54) and L/W 1.4 (1.0-2.3), with no sexual dimorphism in dimensions.

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