Concentration and composition of ciliate protozoa in the families Ophryoscolecidae and Isotrichidae were determined in rumen contents of domestic sheep (Ovis ammon aries) from Cyprus. A total of five genera of Ophryoscolecidae were identified, Metadinium, Enoploplastron, Polyplastron, Epidinium, and Ophryoscolex, which included six species: Metadinium affine, Enoploplastron triloricatum, Polyplastron multivesiculatum, Epidinium ecaudatum, Epidinium graini, and Ophryoscolex purkynjei. Eight separate forms of Epidinium were identified (E. ecaudatum f. ecaudatum, E. e. f. caudatum, E. e. f. bicaudatum, E. e. f. tricaudatum, E. e. f. quadricaudatum, E. graini f. graini, E. g. f. caudatricoronatum, and E. g. f. caudaquadricoronatum), along with five forms of Ophryoscolex purkynjei (O. p. f. purkynjei, O. p. f. bifidobicinctus, O. p. f. bifidoquadricinctus, O. p. f. bicoronatus, O. p. f. tricoronatus, and O. p. f. quadricoronatus). Three species of Isotrichidae were observed, Isotricha intestinalis, I. prostoma, and Dasytricha ruminantium. This study reports new host records for three forms of Epidinium graini and Ophryoscolex purkynjei f. bifidobicinctus. The rumen fauna in the family Ophryoscolecidae from Cypriote domestic sheep appear to have limited diversity compared to those from Turkish and Far Eastern (Chinese/ Japanese) sheep, while they are more diverse than those found in Western European (Scottish) and North American (Canadian/Alaskan) sheep.
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Vol. 48 • No. 4