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Title: Haemospororida  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Apicomplexa, Aconoidasida, Plasmodiidae, Haemoproteus
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Chromalveolata
Superphylum: Alveolata
Phylum: Apicomplexa
Class: Aconoidasida
Order: Haemospororida

Haemospororida (sometimes called Haemosporida) is an order of intraerythrocytic parasitic protozoa.


There are over 500 species in this order organised into has four families: the Garniidae, the Haemoproteidae, the Leucocytozoidae and the Plasmodiidae. The majority of the species lie within 3 genera: Haemoproteus, Leucocytozoon and Plasmodium.

The Haemoproteidae and the Plasmodiidae both produce pigment. These families have been placed in the order Laveraniina. Neither the Haemoproteidae or the Leucocytozoidae have an asexual cycle in the peripheral blood. The Garniidae do not produce pigment but do have an asexual cycle in the blood.

The taxa in detail are as follows:

  • Family Garniidae[1]
    • Genus Fallisia Lainson, Landau & Shaw 1974
    • Genus Garnia Lainson, Landau and Shaw 1971
    • Genus Progarnia Lainson 1995
  • Family Haemoproteidae
    • Genus Haemocystidium Castellani and Willey 1904, emend. Telford 1996
    • Genus Haemoproteus Kruse 1890
    • Genus Paleohaemoproteus Poinar and Telford 2005
  • Family Plasmodiidae
    • Genus Bioccala Landau et al 1984
    • Genus Biguetiella Landau et al 1984
    • Genus Billbraya Paperna and Landau 1990
    • Genus Dionisia Landau et al 1980
    • Genus Hepatocystis Miller 1908
    • Genus Mesnilium Misra, Haldar and Chakravarty 1972
    • Genus Nycteria Garnham and Heisch 1953
    • Genus Plasmodium Marchiafava and Celli 1885
    • Genus Polychromophilus Landau et al 1984
    • Genus Rayella Dasgupta 1967
    • Genus Saurocytozoon Lainson and Shaw 1969
    • Genus Vetufebrus Poinar 2011


The genus Mesnilium is the only group that infects fish. The genus has a single species and has been reported only once. It may be that this genus has been mistakenly placed in this genus. DNA studies are likely to be needed to clarify this point.

Several genera infect mammals: Bioccala, Biguetiella, Dionisia, Hepatocystis, Plasmodium, Polychromophilus, Nycteria and Rayella.

The insect vectors of Hepatocystis, Plasmodium and Polychromophilus are Ceratopogonidae, Culicidae and Nycteribiidae respectively. The vectors of Nycteria and Rayella are currently unknown. Bioccala also uses Nycteribiidae as its insect vector.

Rayella is though to have originated from Hepatocystis.[3][4]

Other genera that may be related

  • Chelonplasma
  • Pirhemocyton


Morrison has shown using molecular data that the Haemosporidia are nested within the gregarines and that this clade is distinct from the piroplasms.[5] This latter clade is a sister group of the coccidians.


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