During a study on the parasite assemblages of two endemic catshark species, the dark shyshark (Haploblepharus pictus) and the puffadder shyshark (Haploblepharus edwardsii), from the west and south coasts of South Africa, a trypanosome new to science was observed in the blood of all sharks examined. This trypanosome species, Trypanosoma haploblephari sp. nov., is characterized by its large size, particularly its width, the shape and orientation of the cell nucleus, and its geographical location. Trypanosoma haploblephari is the first species of elasmobranch trypanosome to be described from southern Africa and represents the first description of a blood parasite from South African sharks.
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