Cockroach gregarines

Our current project is a survey of the exotic and endemic cockroaches of North America and their gregarine parasites. Results to date are presented below and this page will be updated as new species are collected, surveyed, discovered, and described.

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Sandhills gregarine survey

The goal of the project was to conduct a survey and inventory of gregarines parasitizing selected arthropods of the Nebraska Sandhills.

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Big thicket gregarine survey

The project surveys aquatic and riparian insect communities and their gregarine parasites across 9 ecosystems of the Texas Big Thicket.

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Gregarines infecting cockroaches

Our research is focused on gregarine biodiversity. We're interested in both the discovery of gregarine biodiversity and the evolutionary and ecological mechanisms that enabled both speciation and radiation in this hyperdiverse group. Much of our current work is focused on gregarines parasitizing cockroaches.
Although several gregarine genera are reported from cockroaches, the two genera comprising the family Blabericolidae are associated exclusively with cockroach hosts. Blabericolidae includes the genera Blabericola and Protomagalhaensia. Although some cockroach species host only a single gregarine, among tropical cockroach species it is common to find pairs of gregarine species infecting the same host species. In all cases we have studied to date, these gregarine pairs include one species of Protomagalhaensia and one species of Blabericola. As all gregarine species known from cockroaches to date are host specific, this is an almost unique model for studying co-evolutionary processes. We hypothesize that within the tropical cockroach lineage, gregarine species of two different genera appear to speciate in concert in serial response to speciation of their host.
This part of the web-site distributes our biotic discovery work on gregarines infecting exotic and endemic cockroaches of North America. The work began with redescription and stabilization of known species of Blabericola and Protomagalhaensia, and is now expanding to describe previously unknown species infecting other cockroach taxa.
Click on the links at right to see the cockroaches and their associated gregarine parasites and to download PDF reprints of relevant publications.