Genus Haemoproteus

The gametocytes occur in the erythrocytes and are usually halter-shaped. Schizogony takes place in the endothelial cells of the blood vessels, especially in the lungs, and not in the erythrocytes. The known vectors are louse-flies (Hippoboscidae) and midges (Culicoides). Members of this genus are parasites of birds and reptiles. A synonym of this generic name is Halteridium Labbe, 1894.

Members of this genus are extremely common in wild birds and also occur in domestic pigeons, ducks and turkeys. They are not an important cause of disease. Coatney (1936) gave a checklist and host index of the species of Haemoproteus, and Herman (1944) listed the species reported from North American birds.

Life Cycle: The life cycle of Haemoproteus is similar to that of Plasmodium except that schizogony does not take place in the erythrocytes but in the endothelial cells of the blood vessels, and the vectors are not mosquitoes but hippoboscid flies or midges.

Avian Plasmodium and Haemoproteus in erythrocytes