Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados en Salud Animal, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, Carretera Toluca-Atlacomulco km 15.5, Toluca, 50200, Mexico, Mexico. [Email]
A new coccidian species (Chromista: Sporozoa: Eimeriidae) collected from the northern saw-whet owl Aegolius acadicus (Gmelin) is reported from Mexico. Eimeria aegoliusia n. sp. has subspherical oöcysts, with smooth, bi-layered wall. Micropyle and oöcyst residuum are both absent and a polar granule is present. To date, eight species of Eimeria Schneider, 1875 have been described from strigiform birds. Mean dimensions of sporulated oöcysts (23.7 × 22.4 µm) and sporocysts (12.8 × 8.3 µm) appear to be considerably smaller than those from other Eimeria spp. with owl definitive hosts: E. atheni Chauhan & Jain, 1979; E. megabubonis Upton, Campbell, Weigel & McKown, 1990; E. spenotytoi Carini, 1939; E. strigis Kutzer, 1963; and E. varia Upton, Campbell, Weigel & McKown. Dimensions of these sporulated oöcysts appear to be larger than those in E. bemricki Averbeck, Cooney, Guarnera, Redig & Stromberg, 1998. The presence of polar granules and their number allowed differentiation from E. bubonis Cawthorn & Stockdale, 1981 and E. nycteae Volf, Koudela & Modry, 1999. This is the first description of an eimeriid coccidian infecting A. acadicus.