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J Parasitol. 1994 Aug;80(4):569-75.

The development of a hemogregarine of Lycodes raridens from Alaska in its definitive leech host.

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Department of Zoology, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Piscicolid leeches from the Bering Sea that had been removed from Lycodes raridens in 1977 were examined histologically. Developmental stages of a haemogregarine blood parasite of fish were found in the intestinal ceca and in salivary tissues. The developmental sequence, including gametogenesis and sporogony followed by intestinal merogonic development and anteriad migration, was the same as is known for Haemogregarina (sensu lato) myoxocephali of Atlantic sculpins. Merozoites with perinuclear crystalloid inclusions were found in the dorsal blood vessel, interstitially between the blood vessel and salivary cells and within both the somata and ductules of salivary cells. This confirms the importance of rhynchobdellid leech circulatory anatomy in facilitating the transmission of apicomplexan parasites. The lack of distinguishing characteristics precludes assigning a specific name to this parasite and may be indicative of frustrations that will be encountered in future revisions of the systematics of the genus Haemogregarina.

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