Coccidia of the Sciuridae

The Coccidia of the World Project is an effort to create a database for the scientific community that, upon completion, will catalogue all known species of coccidia (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae), their descriptions, and all biologically relevant material. As part of this project, all published information on coccidia occurring in squirrels (Rodentia: Sciuridae) is being compiled and the taxonomy of these parasites evaluated and revised based on quality of published descriptions and adherence to International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) guidelines. Each species description is examined in its chronological order of appearance in the literature and evaluated based on previous descriptions from that host group.  The description is then evaluated with regard to the ICZN guidelines and a set of minimal criteria established to support a valid description and the group in question is accepted or rejected as a valid species. One current area of focus is coccidia in rodents. The rodent family Sciuridae is comprised of two subfamilies, Sciurinae and Pteromyinae, with the first consisting of 36 genera with 230 species and the second 14 genera with 43 species.  To date 57 valid species of coccidia from three genera [Dorisa (1 species), Eimeria (54), Wenyonella (2)] have been described and/or reported from 58 different sciurid species with 47 of these reported from members of the subfamily Sciurinae and 10 from the Pteromyinae.  Considering that for many of the 58 sciurid species examined (51 Siurinae, 7 Pteromyinae) only a limited number of hosts from a small geographic region have been sampled, and that there are 215 species that have not been examined at all, it is likely that there is a large number of coccidian species occurring in hosts in this taxon yet to be identified.

Contact Me

Dr. R. Scott Seville

Associate Dean, Outreach School
Professor of Zoology and Physiology
University of Wyoming/ Casper College Center
125 College Drive
Casper, Wyoming 82601
Phone 307-268-2543
FAX 307-268-2416
email sseville@uwyo.edu

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