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A paradise for parasites? Seven new haemogregarine species infecting lizards from the Canary Islands

  • Beatriz Tomé (a1) (a2), Ana Pereira (a1) (a2), D. James Harris (a1), Miguel A. Carretero (a1) and Ana Perera (a1)...


Oceanic islands are hotspots of biodiversity due to their high levels of endemism, with the Canary Islands being a notable example. A previous molecular study on the biogeography and host associations of haemogregarines (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) infecting lizards from this archipelago detected seven parasite haplogroups. These haplogroups exhibited high host-specificity and geographical structure, suggesting that they might correspond to distinct biological identities. In this study, along with sequencing a longer fragment of the 18S rRNA, we further explore the distinctiveness of these parasites by analysing their morphology, effects on host erythrocytes and parasitaemia levels. These lines of evidence together with their genetics, host associations, frequency of occurrence and geographical distribution support them as different biological entities. As such, we describe seven new species: Karyolysus canariensis sp. nov., Karyolysus galloti sp. nov., Karyolysus stehlini sp. nov., Karyolysus gomerensis sp. nov., Karyolysus atlanticus sp. nov., Karyolysus tinerfensis sp. nov. and Karyolysus makariogeckonis sp. nov. These new taxa are further examples of endemic diversity in the Canarian archipelago. They also contribute to clarify the taxonomy within the Apicomplexa, a phylum estimated to have one of the lowest percentages of described species.


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Author for correspondence: Beatriz Tomé, E-mail:


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A paradise for parasites? Seven new haemogregarine species infecting lizards from the Canary Islands

  • Beatriz Tomé (a1) (a2), Ana Pereira (a1) (a2), D. James Harris (a1), Miguel A. Carretero (a1) and Ana Perera (a1)...


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