Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK


New host records for Haemogregarina bigemina from the coast of southern Africa

N.J.  Smit a1 and A.J.  Davies a2c1
a1 Department of Zoology and Entomology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of the Orange Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
a2 School of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science, Kingston University, Kingston, Surrey, KT1 2EE


One hundred and fifty intertidal fishes were captured at Jeffreys Bay in July 1996 and February 1997, and at De Hoop Nature Reserve in April 1997, South Africa. Caffrogobius caffer, Chorisochismus dentex, Clinus superciliosus, and Clinus cottoides were all parasitised by haematophagous larvae of the isopod, Gnathia africana, and between 22 and 81% of fishes were infested with 1 to 76 larvae each. Of those fishes examined for blood parasites, 35/46 (76.1%) had an intraerythrocytic haemogregarine identified as Haemogregarina (sensu lato) bigemina, but only Clinus superciliosus and Clinus cottoides were infected. Gamonts of the haemogregarine, some undergoing syzygy, were also present in 50% of stained batches of the anterior hindgut contents of G. africana larvae which had fed on Clinus superciliosus, but were absent from larvae taken from Clinus cottoides and Chorisochismus dentex. This study provides new host records for H. bigemina and further evidence that gnathiid isopods play a role in the transmission of the haemogregarine.

c1 To whom correspondence should be sent.