Unlike the case in Asia and Latin America, Plasmodium vivax infections are rare in sub-Saharan Africa due to the absence of the Duffy blood group antigen (Duffy antigen), the only known erythrocyte receptor for the P. vivax merozoite invasion ligand, Duffy binding protein 1 (DBP1). However, P. vivax infections have been documented in Duffy-negative individuals throughout Africa, suggesting that P. vivax may use ligands other than DBP1 to invade Duffy-negative erythrocytes through other receptors. To identify potential P. vivax ligands, we compared parasite gene expression in Saimiri and Aotus monkey erythrocytes infected with P. vivax Salvador I (Sal I). DBP1 binds Aotus but does not bind to Saimiri erythrocytes; thus, P. vivax Sal I must invade Saimiri erythrocytes independent of DBP1. Comparing RNA sequencing (RNAseq) data for late-stage infections in Saimiri and Aotus erythrocytes when invasion ligands are expressed, we identified genes that belong to tryptophan-rich antigen and merozoite surface protein 3 (MSP3) families that were more abundantly expressed in Saimiri infections compared with Aotus infections. These genes may encode potential ligands responsible for P. vivax infections of Duffy-negative Africans.