Eimeria ropotamae Golemansky, 1978

Type host: Crocidura leucodon (Hermann, 1780), Bicolor white-toothed shrew.

Other hosts: None reported to date.

Type locality: EUROPE: Bulgaria, near the Ropotamo River.

Geographic distribution: EUROPE: Bulgaria.

Description of oocyst: Oocyst shape: spheroid to subspheroid; number of walls: 2 (?); wall thickness: unknown, but probably >1.0; wall characteristics: outer, colorless, slightly sculptured, ~3/4 of total; inner, membranous and colorless; L x W: 22-25 x 20-22.5; L/W ratio: unknown; M: absent; OR: absent; PG: 1-2. Distinctive features of oocyst: sculptured outer wall.

Description of sporocysts and sporozoites: Sporocyst shape: ovoid; L x W: 12 x 7.6; L/W ratio: 1.6; SB: present as a "hyaline plug" at narrow end; SSB: (?) absent; PSB: absent; SR: present; SR characteristics: diffuse, small granules; SP: with a distinct RB at one end (line drawing),although this was not stated in the original description. Distinctive features of sporocyst: the hyaline plug-like SB (which may be a SSB; this needs to be determined.

Prevalence: 1/2 (50%) in original description; 1/1 from C. leucodon captured in the Arkvtino Reserve, Bulgaria (Golemansky, 1979; see Remarks under E. neomyi.

Sporulation: Exogenous. Oocysts sporulated in 56 hours in 3% potassium dichromate solution at ~24 C.

Prepatent and patent periods: Unknown.

Site of infection: Unknown. Oocysts recovered from feces and intestinal contents.

Materials deposited: None.

Remarks: This species is structurally similar to E. chagasi from Sorex spp. In addition, in the original description, Golemansky (1978) also described E. neomyi from Neomys anomalus and from N. fodiens, and the drawings for both E. ropotamae and E. neomyi are essentially identical for both sporulated and unsporulated oocysts. Although it is known that some wimeriid coccidia in mammals seem to switch host genera easily (e.g., those in Sciuridae; see Wilber et al., 1998), the majority, apparently, cannot do this. Given the paucity of information, we do not know if host switching betwen geneera can occur by coccidia from insectivores. Thus, we are inclined to retain this name as valid until additional evidence suggests otherwise.

References: Golemansky (1978, 1979); Wilber et al. (1998).