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Blood cell morphology of the Moorish gecko, Tarentola mauritanica

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The morphology of erythrocytes, trombocytes, monocytes, basophils and lymphocytes on Moorish geckos (Tarentola mauritanica) is quite similar to that of other reptiles, even though some peculiarities were detected for heterophils and eosinophils. Moreover, we found a fourth type of granulocyte whose morphology highly differs from both heterophils and eosinophils. Sexually-based differences in the relative abundance of different types of leukocytes was detected: lymphocytes were the most frequent in females, while heterophils and eosinophils prevailed in males. Interestingly, in most individuals we found intra-erythrocytic vacuoles whose structure is similar to that previously described as Chelonoplasma in tortoises and Serpentoplasma in snakes.

Affiliations: 1: Dipartimento di Biologia Animale, Università degli Studi di Pavia, Piazza Botta 9, I-27100 Pavia, Italy;, Email:; 2: Dipartimento di Biologia Animale, Università degli Studi di Pavia, Piazza Botta 9, I-27100 Pavia, Italy; 3: Museo di Storia Naturale e del Territorio, Università di Pisa, via Roma 79, I-56011 Calci (Pisa), Italy; 4: Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Venezia 55, I-20121 Milano, Italy; 5: Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, C. so Venezia 55, I-20121 Milano, Italy


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