The Trypanosoma cruzi clade is a group of parasites that comprises T. cruzi sensu lato and its closest relatives. Although several species have been confirmed phylogenetically to belong to this clade, it is uncertain how many more species can be expected to belong into this group. Here, we present the results of a survey of trypanosome parasites of the bat Artibeus jamaicensis from the Panama´ Canal Zone, an important seed disperser. Using a genealogical species delimitation approach, the Poisson tree processes (PTP), we tentatively identified five species of trypanosomes – all belonging to the T. cruzi clade. A small monophyletic group of three putative Trypanosoma species places at the base of the clade phylogeny, providing evidence for at least five independent colonization events of these parasites into the New World. Artibeus jamaicensis presents a high diversity of these blood parasites and is the vertebrate with the highest number of putative trypanosome species reported from a single locality. Our results emphasize the need for continued efforts to survey mammalian trypanosomes.
Cottontail, Veronika M.; Kalko, Elisabeth K. V.; Cottontail, Iain; Wellinghausen, Nele; Tschapka, Marco; Perkins, Susan L.; and Pinto, C. Miguel, "High Local Diversity of Trypanosoma in a Common Bat Species, and Implications for the Biogeography and Taxonomy of the T. cruzi Clade" (2014). CUNY Academic Works.