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Parasitology. 2005 Jul;131(Pt 1):79-84.

Paleohaemoproteus burmacis gen. n., sp. n. (Haemospororida: Plasmodiidae) from an Early Cretaceous biting midge (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae).

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1
Department of Zoology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA. poinarg@science.oregonstate.edu

Abstract

Paleohaemoproteus burmacis gen. n., sp. n. (Haemospororida: Plasmodiidae) is described from the abdominal cavity of a female biting midge (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) preserved in 100 million year old amber from Myanmar (Burma). The description is based on the developmental stages of oocysts and sporozoites. The fossil species differs from extant species of Haemoproteus by its wide range of oocyst sizes, small sporozoites and occurrence in an extinct species of biting midge. Numerous sporozoites in the abdominal cavity suggest that the biting midge was an effective vector of this malarial parasite. Characters of the biting midge suggest that the host was a large, cold-blooded vertebrate. This is the earliest record of a malaria parasite and first indication that Early Cretaceous reptiles were infected with haemosporidial parasites.

PMID:
16038399
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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