An adult male white eared-pheasant (Crossoptilon crossoptilon) at a Japanese zoo exhibited lethargy and emaciation. Microscopic examination of a blood smear revealed a haemosporidian parasitic infection. Based on the morphological characteristics and molecular analysis of the parasite, it was identified as Plasmodium (Bennettinia) juxtanucleare. This is the first report of P. juxtanucleare infection in bird species belonging to the genus Crossoptilon. Caution against avian malaria infection is required for the conservation of endangered bird species in zoos.
2008 by the Japanese Society of Veterinary Science