We describe a new species of Haemoproteus Kruse, 1890 from great frigatebirds (Fregata minor [Gmelin]) captured on Tern Island-French Frigate Shoals and Laysan Island in Hawaii. Parasite prevalence on Laysan Island (35%) was not significantly different than that of Tern Island (36%). On Laysan, prevalence was highest in juveniles (52%), followed by adult males (29%) and adult females (19%). Prevalence on Tern was 36% both for adult females and juveniles, and 28% for adult males. Parasitemia was low (mean < 2 parasites/10,000 red blood cell). Parasitized red cells had significantly greater areas than unparasitized cells. We named this parasite Haemoproteus iwa after the Hawaiian name for frigatebirds (iwa). This is the first documentation of a hemoparasite from tropical pelagic seabirds in Hawaii and the first description of an endemic hemoparasite in the archipelago.
Additional Publication Details
Haemoproteus iwa n. sp. in great frigatebirds (Fregata minor [Gmelin]) from Hawaii: parasite morphology and prevalence