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Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Chromalveolata
Superphylum: Alveolata
Phylum: Apicomplexa
Levine 1970
Class: Conoidasida
Levine 1988
Subclass: Gregarinasina
Dufour 1828
Order: Neogregarinorida
Grassé & Schrével 1953
Suborder: Schizogregarinina
Family: Ophryocystidae


The Ophryocystidae are a family of parasitic protozoa in the phylum Apicomplexa.[1] Species in this family infect insects (Coleoptera and Lepidoptera).


This family was created by Léger and Duboscq in 1908.


One genus is placed in this family - Ophryocystis - with at least 10 species. This is the type family of the order Neogregarinorida.


Most species in this family infect the Malpigian tubes of beetles. The trophozoite is conical in shape. Two forms of schizont occur: gregarinoid and mycetoid. The gregarinoids are more common and give rise to gametocytes. The mycetoids give rise to merozoites.

The merozoites are uninucleated, pyriform cells. These are released into the lumen of the tube and from there infect other cells of the tube. The gametocytes possesses only a single nucleus and are globular in shape. When mature, these become detached from the epithelium. Within the lumen, the gametocytes associate in pairs, fuse, and form a zygote. The zygote subsequently becomes a single octozoic spore.


  1. ^ Leger L (1907) Les schizogregarines des tracheates. L Le genre Ophryocystis. Arch. Prot. 8: 159-202