Systematic Parasitology 39: 45–48, 1998.
? 1998 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.
Isospora ptyodactyli n. sp. (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae), a new coccidian
parasite of the fan-footed gecko Ptyodactylus puiseuxi Boutan, 1893
(Reptilia: Gekkonidae) from Jordan
David Modr´ y1, Bˇ retislav Koudela2, Ratib M. Al-Oran3, Zuhair S. Amr4and David Doleˇ zel2 ?5
1Department of Parasitology, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Palack´ eho 1-3, CZ - 612 42
Brno, Czech Republic
2Institute of Parasitology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Braniˇ sovsk´ a 31, CZ – 370 05ˇCesk´ e
Budˇ ejovice, Czech Republic
3Department of Biology, Mutah University, Mutah, Jordan
4Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan
5Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Biology, University of South Bohemia,ˇCesk´ e Budˇ ejovice, Czech Republic
Accepted for publication 25th April, 1997
Faecal samples from 17 fan-footed geckoes Ptyodactylus puiseuxi Boutan were examined for coccidian parasites.
Five geckoes (29%) were found to be passing o¨ ocysts of the genus Isospora Schneider. Comparison with other
members of the genus Isospora indicates that the coccidian found represents a new species. Sporulated o¨ ocysts of
I. ptyodactyli n. sp. are spherical or subspherical, 22.1 (19.0–24.0)
(length/width) of 1.04; and a smooth and bilayered o¨ ocyst wall, 1.0–1.5
and polar granule are absent. The sporocysts are ellipsoidal, 12.2 (11.0–14.0)
index of 1.5 (1.4–1.9). Stieda and substieda bodies are present, the Stieda body being knob-like and the substieda
body spherical to subspherical. A sporocyst residuum is present and composed of numerous granules of different
and are arranged head to tail within the sporocyst. Most o¨ ocysts have still to sporulate when excreted; sporulation
was completed within 12 h at 25
? 21.2 (18.0–23.0)
?m, with a shape-index
?m thick. A micropyle, o¨ ocyst residuum
? 8.0 (7.5–9.0)
?m, with a shape
?C. Endogenousdevelopment occurs inside the nuclei of enterocytes in the small
Petricollous geckos of the genus Ptyodactylus Gold-
fuss inhabit arid and semiarid regions of North Africa
ly been suggested as valid (R¨ osler, 1994). Other than
Schellackia ptyodactyli Paperna & Finkelman, 1996
from Ptyodactylus hasselquistii Donndorf (see Paper-
na & Finkelman, 1996), no other coccidian species
hasbeendescribedfromthese geckoesto date. Herein,
we present a description of a new species of Isospo-
ra Schneider from fan-footed geckoes Ptyodactylus
puiseuxi Boutan in Jordan.
Materials and methods
lus puiseuxi were collected by hand during a para-
sitological and herpetological survey in Jordan during
April, 1996. Five specimensoriginatedfromthe basalt
desert around Safawi (32
er 12 were collected from Mediterranean oak forests
around Zoubia (32
kept separately or in groupsof 2–3 specimens in small
plastic boxes prior to transportation to the University
of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, the
In the laboratory, lizards were housed individually
in small glass or plastic terraria with 15–25 W heating
lamps. The ground temperature of the terraria reached
?E) and anoth-
?E). Lizards were
Figures1–4. Isospora ptyodactyli n. sp. 1. Nomarski interference contrast (NIC) photograph of sporulated o¨ ocyst; note characteristic Stieda and
substieda body (circle). 2–4. Endogenous development and endogenous stages stained with H&E: 2. Atrophy of the villi in the small intestine
in infected fan-footed gecko. 3. Villi in the small intestine in uninfected fan-footed gecko. 4. The intranuclear endogenous stages; note early
trophozoite (arrow), mature macrogamonts and young o¨ ocyst (arrowhead). Scale-bars: 1, 10
?m; 2, 3, 100
?m; 4, 20
Lizards were fed daily on laboratory-reared crickets
with vitamin and mineral supplementation. Individu-
al faecal samples were collected repeatedly from the
substrata of the terraria, or by carefully manipulating
the lizards, and examined microscopically after con-
centration using flotation in modified Sheather’s sugar
solution (specific gravity 1.30).
Three infected and two uninfected lizards were
killed with an overdose of barbiturate (Thiopental,
Spofa, Czech Republic) and necropsied. At necrop-
sy, tissue samples of the stomach, duodenum, small
and large intestine, heart, lung, liver, gall-bladder and
kidney were fixed in 10% buffered formalin. Fixed
tissues were processed for a light microscopy using
standard methods. Paraffin sections were stained with
hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and Giemsa stains.
In order to determine the sporulation time, o¨ ocysts
from the intestinal contents were suspended in 2.5%
potassium dichromate solution and incubated at 25
?C during the daytime and 19–21
?C at night.
?C. O¨ ocysts duringdifferent stages of sporogonywere
observed and photographed using Nomarski interfer-
ence contrast (NIC) microscopy. Thirty fresh sporu-
lated o¨ ocysts were measured using a calibrated ocular
micrometer; measurements are reported in microme-
tres (?m), as meansfollowedby the range in parenthe-
Isospora ptyodactyli n. sp. (Figures 1–5)
O¨ ocysts spherical or subspherical, 22.1 (19.0–24.0)
? 21.2 (18.0–23.0); shape-index (length/width) 1.04
(1.0–1.1). O¨ ocyst wall bilayered, 1.0–1.5 thick,
smooth and slightly brownish; outer layer 0.75–1.0;
inner layer 0.25–0.5. Micropyle, o¨ ocyst residuum
and polar granule absent. Sporocysts ellipsoidal, 12.2
0.5 thick); shape-index 1.5 (1.4–1.9). Knob-like Stie-
da body present, c. 0.75 high and 1.5 wide. Substieda
? 8.0 (7.5–9.0),with smooth, thinwall (c.
Figure 5. Composite line drawings of sporulated o¨ ocyst of Isospora
ptyodactyli n. sp. Scale-bar: 10
body spherical to subspherical, homogenous, 2.0 high
(1.5–2.0) and 1.5 wide (1.0–2.0). Sporocyst residuum
present, composed of numerous granules of irregu-
lar size scattered among sporozoites. Sporozoites ver-
miform, with slightly granulated surface appearance,
arranged head to tail within sporocyst. Both posterior
and anterior refractile body present, c. 3.5 in diameter.
Type-host: Ptyodactylus puiseuxi Boutan (Sauria:
Type-locality: Safawi, northern Jordan (32
Other locality: Zoubia, northern Jordan (32
Prevalence: 2/5 (40%) in Safawi and 3/12 (25%) in
Sporulation: Exogenous. Intestinal contents of infect-
ed geckos contained unsporulated o¨ ocysts, o¨ ocysts at
the beginning of sporulation and also some almost
sporulated o¨ ocysts. Fully sporulated o¨ ocysts were
observed within 12 hours at 25
Site of infection: Histological examination revealed
all endogenous stages developed within the nuclei of
of the small intestine of all infected lizards exhibited
pathological lesions consisting of villus atrophy and
inflammatory infiltration of the lamina propria (Figure
3). All infected cell nuclei were displaced toward the
apical part of enterocytes. During endogenous devel-
opment, nuclei were gradually consumed and trans-
formed into a thin envelope around the parasite.
Endogenous stages: Early trophozoites (Figure 4)
spherical to ovoidal (3.5–6.0
ing meronts not found; mature meront contained c.
40 merozoites (3.5–5.0
monts contained up to 40 nuclei per section plane.
Mature microgamonts with centrally located residual
erally arranged microgametes. Young macrogamonts
tinct nucleolus,butfew eosinophilicgranules.Zygotes
and youngo¨ ocysts(15.0–18.0
eosinophilic granules and vacuoles (Figure 4).
Type-specimens: Phototypes and histological slides
deposited in the Institute of Parasitology, Acad-
emy of Sciences of the Czech Republic,
Budˇ ejovice (Coll. No. R 96/96). Symbiotype is
deposited in the herpetological collection of Zool-
ogisches Forschungsinstitut und Museum Alexander
Koenig, Bonn, Germany (Coll. No. ZFMK 63428).
? 3.5–8.0). Develop-
? 1.0–1.5). Young microga-
? 3.0–5.0), contained up to 60 periph-
? 8.0–10.0) with large nucleus and dis-
Thirteen species of coccidia of the genus Isospora
Schneider have previously been described and named
from gekkonid hosts (Cannon, 1967; Carini, 1936;
El-Toukhy, 1994; Else & Colley, 1975; Matuschka
& Bannert, 1986; Ovezmukhammedov, 1972; Ray &
Das Gupta, 1936; Upton & Barnard, 1987; Upton &
Freed, 1988; Upton& Freed, 1990; Uptonet al., 1990;
Upton et al., 1991; Upton et al., 1992). The species
described as a new herein possesses smaller o¨ ocysts
than, I. ablephari, I. albogularis, I. canariensis, I.
frenatus, I. pachydactyli,I. stenodactyliand I. tarento-
lae. Conversely,o¨ ocystsofI.schlegeliaresignificantly
smaller than those of I. ptyodactyli n. sp. Of the five
species most similar in size, I. gekkonis has slightly
largero¨ ocystsand those ofI. thavariare slightlylarger
andhaveasingle-layeredo¨ ocystwall. I.thavarisporo-
Stieda body is reduced. I. gekkonis sporocysts contain
a much larger substieda body and have a significant-
ly different shape than the new species. O¨ ocysts of I.
hemidactyli are mostly subspherical, containing one
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polar granule. Although detailed data on morphology
of I. knowlesi and I. gymnodactyli are lacking in the
original descriptions, conspecifity can be excluded by
differences in oocyst and sporocyst dimensions, and
also by different host groups and geographical origin.
The endogenousdevelopment of gekkonidIsospo-
endogenous stages are available only for I. ablephari
and I. stenodactyli, which have intranuclear endoge-
nous development (Cannon, 1967; El-Toukhy, 1994),
and for I. thavari, with a cytoplasmatic localisation of
the endogenous stages (Else & Colley, 1975). Basic
morphological features and localisation of the stages
of merogonyand gamogonyof I. ptyodactyli n. sp. are
very similar to those of I. stenodactyli.
We are indebted to the Royal Society for the Con-
servation of the Nature, especially to Adnan Budieri
and Sultan A. Al-Mashaqbah, and to all staff of the
Badia Research and Development Program, Safawi,
for help and gracious hospitality during our stay in
Jordan. We also thanks Ahmad M. Disi and staff at
the Zoubia Reserve for their kind help and facilitating
our stay. The Faculty of Science of Mutah Universi-
ty kindly provided transportation, laboratory facilities
andaccommodation.We thankVeronikaSchacherlov´ a
for preparing tissue samples for histology and Jarosla-
va Ruˇ ziˇ ckov´ a and JanˇSlapeta for the line drawing.
This study was supported by Grant No. 508/95/0273
of the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic.
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