Parasitology, Harold W. Manter Laboratory of


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Published as a Special Publication of the Museum of Southwestern Biology (2000) no. 4, 67 p. Copyright 2000, the Museum of Southwestern Biology. Used by permission.


The coccidia (protistan phylum Apicomplexa Levine, 1970) comprise a large group of obligate intracellular parasites commonly found in all classes of vertebrate hosts and in some invertebrates. This review focuses on those species within the Eimeriidae because they are among the most prevalent and speciose of all parasite groups, and there is no taxonomic summation currently available for those species that infect insectivores. All published species descriptions in the genera Cyclospora, Eimeria and Isospora that infect insectivores are reviewed and evaluated. Some of the named species are invalid, either because rules concerning the naming of new species (International Code of Zoological Nomenclature) were not followed and/or the original description was so incomplete as to be of little use; such names have been relegated to species inquirendae. The mammalian order Insectivora has seven families composed of 66 genera and 428 species. There are no coccidia described from three families: Chrysochloridae, Nesophontidae and Solenodontidae. In the Erinaceidae, only Erinaceus, Hemiechinus and Hylomys have valid coccidia described from them; in the Soricidae, only six genera, Crocidura, Suncus (Crocidurinae) and Blarina, Cryptotis, Neomys, and Sorex (Soricinae) have valid species described; in the Tenrecidae, only Hemicentetes and Setifer have valid species; and in the Talpidae, only Condylura, Mogera, Neurotrichus, Parascalops, Scalopus, Scapanus, Talpa and Urotrichus (Talpinae) have valid species described. In all, 75 eimeriid coccidia are known from insectivore hosts including 48 Eimeria, 22 Isospora and five Cyclospora species; 45 species inquirendae are noted.

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