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Journal Article

Malarial Parasites (Plasmodium) of Anolis Lizards: Biogeography in the Lesser Antilles

Christine M. Staats and Joseph J. Schall
Biotropica
Vol. 28, No. 3 (Sep., 1996), pp. 388-393
DOI: 10.2307/2389202
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2389202
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Malarial Parasites (Plasmodium) of Anolis Lizards: Biogeography in the Lesser Antilles
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Abstract

Anolis lizards (Iguanidae) were surveyed for malarial parasites on 14 islands in the eastern Lesser Antellies, St. John in the Virgin Islands, and Curacao and Aruba in the southern Caribbean. Two species of malaria were identified in 4859 lizards sampled from the 17 islands, Plasmodium floridense and P. azurophilum. There was no relationship between island size, elevation, or rainfall and the presence or absence of malaria. Some of the largest islands had no malaria, some large and small islands had one species, and some, including tiny Saba, had both species of Plasmodium. P. azurophilum was found throughout the Lesser Antilles from St. Martin to Grenada; P. floridense was restricted to the northern islands, not further south than Montserrat. Our results, combined with surveys from other areas of the Caribbean basin, show both species of malaria infect anoles from distantly related taxonomic groups, suggesting that the parasites have had an ancient with their lizard hosts.

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