Five species of Leucocytozoon were recovered from 35/828 birds of 95 species examined from 6 sites in West Africa between May 1995 and June 2001. Leucocytozoon pogoniuli n. sp. is described from the tinker barbets Pogoniulus subsulphureus and Pogoniulus atroflavus. Leucocytozoon trachyphoni n. sp. is described from the barbet Trachyphonus purpureus. No leucocytozoids have been reported previously in species of Pogoniulus. Leucocytozoon nectariniae was identified from the sunbird Nectarinia olivacea, and Leucocytozoon brimonti was recovered from 4 species of Pycnonotidae (bulbuls), all of which are new host records. We also report the first Leucocytozoon to be recovered from the phylogenetically isolated bird, Picathartes sp. (Picathartidae). This parasite is similar in appearance to Leucocytozoon sakharoffi, and probably represents a previously undescribed species. In view of the intraspecific variability and, frequently, relatively minor interspecific differences within Leucocytozoidae, we suggest that the development and application of molecular techniques would greatly advance understanding of speciation and relationships within this family.
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