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the web of life in southern Africa


Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta



Intracellular phagotrophic parasites of algae. Genera: Amoeboaphelidium, Aphelidium and Pseudoaphelidium.



One species, Corallochytrium limacisporum, usually found on coral reefs in the Indian Ocean. Regarded as a saprotroph (i.e. feeds off dead or decaying organic material).



A single species, Capsaspora owczarzaki, has been recorded from in the haemolymph of a South American freshwater snail called Biomphalaria glabrata, which is the major vector of schistosomiasis in the New World. Capsaspora is evidently capable of penetrating, killing and ingesting trematode larvae (such as Schistosoma mansoni). This species has only been recorded from South America but it is possible that a similar species occurs in Africa, still to be discovered.



Mainly animal parasites but some species are free living and saprotrophic.



Known from marine environments.



One genus: Nuclearia.



  • Adl, S.M., Simpson, A.G., Farmer, M.A., Andersen, R.A., Anderson, O.R., Barta, J.R., Bowser, S.S., Brugerolle, G., Fensome, R.A., Fredericq, S., James, T.Y., Karpov, S., Kugrens, P., Krug, J., Lane, C.E., Lewis, L.A., Lodge, J., Lynn, D.H., Mann, D.G., McCourt, R.M., Mendoza, L., Moestrup, ., Mozley-Standridge, S.E., Nerad, T.A., Shearer, C.A., Smirnov, A.V., Spiegel, F.W. and Taylor, M.F.J.R. 2005. The new higher level classification of eukaryotes with emphasis on the taxonomy of protists. Eukaryote Microbiology 52(5): 399-451.

  • Hertel, L.A., Bayne, C.J. and Loker, E.S. 2002. The symbiont Capsaspora owczarzaki, nov. gen. nov. sp., isolated from three strains of the pulmonate snail Biomphalaria glabrata is related to members of the Mesomycetozoea. International Journal of Parasitology 32(9): 1183-1191.

  • Mendoza, L., Taylor, J.W. and Ajello, L. 2002. The class Mesomycetozoea: a heterogeneous group of microorganisms at the animal-fungal boundary. Annual Review of Microbiology 56: 315-344. [not examined]