A survey for gregarines (Protozoa: Apicomplexa) in arthropods in Spain

A. Criado-Fornelio, C. Verdú-Expósito, T. Martin-Pérez, I. Heredero-Bermejo, J. Pérez-Serrano, L. Guàrdia-Valle, M. Panisello-Panisello

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5 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Gregarines thrive in the digestive tract of arthropods and may be deleterious to their hosts, especially when present in high densities. The impact of parasites on these invertebrates may affect both the ecosystem equilibrium and human economic activities. However, information available on gregarines in Spain is limited. Therefore, a microscopic study on prevalence of gregarine infection in 560 insects and crustaceans was undertaken in Madrid and Tarragona.Gregarina ormierei (78 % prevalence), Stylocephalus gigas (56 %), Oocephalus hispanus (13 %) and Actinocephalus permagnus (only one infected out of six beetles examined) were found in coleopteran hosts. Gregarina ovata and G. chelidurellae showed moderate frequency of infection (35 %) in dermapterans. An undescribed Gregarina sp. (76 % prevalence) was observed for the first time in freshwater decapod crustaceans. Interestingly, G. ormierei showed a noticeable phenotypic dimorphism, which justifies its redescription based on modern taxonomic criteria. Sequences of the 18S rRNA gene could be obtained only in the presence of highly prevalent gregarines. G. ormierei and Gregarina sp. were related (85 and 94 % identity by BLASTN, respectively) to G. basiconstrictonea and G. cloptoni, respectively, whereas S. gigas was closely related to both Xiphocephalus ellisi and S. giganteus (>97 % identity). Phylogenetic trees based on ribosomal sequences unequivocally grouped these new isolates either with the Gregarinidae (G. ormierei and Gregarina sp.) or the Stylocephalidae (S. gigas).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-110
JournalParasitology Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Crustaceans
  • Gregarines
  • Insects
  • Small ribosomal subunit gene


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