Date of this Version
A new species of intestinal coccidian is described from the weedy or common sea dragon Phyllopteryx taeniolatus housed at the New England Aquarium in Boston and at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, USA. Live oocysts of Eimeria phyllopterycis sp. n. are spherical, 30.9 (28.0-34.4) μm, with a thin, single-layered wall. Both a micropyle and oocyst residuum are absent and a large polar granule is sometimes present. Sporocysts are ellipsoidal and elongate, 24.3 × 10.4 (23.4-25.6 × 9.2-11.2) μm, with Stieda and substieda bodies; shape index (length/width) 2.33 (2.14-2.70). A sporocyst residuum is present, consisting of numerous granules of various sizes. Sporozoites each possess three refractile bodies. Preliminary evidence suggests that the coccidian may affect the health of sea dragons; however, it could not be determined whether this parasite caused significant morbidity or mortality.