Fecal samples of 11 calves shot in the Ameralik area, West Greenland, in August–September 2014 were examined for coccidian parasites. The calves belonged to a population of interbreeding indigenous caribou Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus and feral semi-domestic Norwegian reindeer Rangifer tarandus tarandus. Two coccidian species were found: Eimeria rangiferis and a coccidium that was identified and described as a new species. The latter’s sporulated oocyst is spherical or slightly subspherical. Average size is 25.6 × 24.8 μm. The oocyst has two distinct walls. Wall thickness is ∼1.4 μm. The unicolored outer wall is brown, the inner wall is dark gray. The oocysts contain a small polar granule but are devoid of a microphyle. The oocysts enclose four ovoid-shaped sporocysts with a rounded end opposite to the Stieda body. The average size of sporocysts is 15.2 × 7.8 μm. Sporocysts contain a granular sporocyst residuum that forms a spherical cluster between the sporocysts, one large refractile body is present in each sporozoite. The spherical form easily distinguishes oocysts of the new species from the seven previously described eimerid species in R. tarandus. This is the first eimerid described as a new species to the sciences from caribou in the Nearctic.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank the Rangifer Health Network and organizer Carlos Das Neves for financing the authors’ participation at the Egilsstadir Iceland, August 2012 Rangifer Health Network meeting, which led to this collaborative project. We thank commercial hunter Aslak Jensen for providing some of the fecal samples and Fjola Rut Svavarsdottir for help with preparing Fig. . The project was partly funded by the Research Fund of the University of Iceland.
© 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
- Eimeria rangiferis
- Eimeria tuttui
- Fecal analysis
- R. t. caribou
- R. t. tarandus
- Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus
- West Greenland