Species diversity and seasonality of free-living ticks (Acari : Ixodidae) in the natural habitat of wild Marsh deer (Blastocerus dichotomus) in Southeastern Brazil


This study evaluated the presence and seasonal activity of free-living ticks in remaining marsh areas by the Parana river, in Brazil. Eight field trips (once per season) for collection of ticks were performed during 2 years. Using CO2 traps, dragging, and visual inspection of vegetation, five free-living tick species were collected, in the following order of abundance: Amblyomma cajennense, Amblyom\ma dubitatum, Amblyomma triste, Amblyomma coelebs, and Amblyomma nodosum. The seasonal pattern of A. cajennense was characterized by the highest peaks for adult ticks in the summer/spring months, for nymphs in the winter and for larvae in the autumn and winter. A. dubitatum and A. triste presented similar seasonal patterns characterized by peaks of adult ticks in the autumn. Nymphs of A. dubitatum peaked in the winter of the first year and in the winter/spring of the second year. A. triste was the only species to be collected in significantly higher numbers in the marsh than in surrounding drier areas such as forest patches. Among domestic animals living close the marsh areas, horses were infested by Anocentor nitens, A. cajennense, and Boophilus microplus, bovines were infested solely by B. microplus, and dogs were infested by Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Adults of A. triste showed to be well adapted to the marsh environment. This result, at least partially, explains local previous observations on the association of A. triste with marsh deer, as this vertebrate host inhabits mainly the marsh area. (c) 2006 Published by Elsevier B.V.



marsh, Parani river, Brazil, ticks, Amblyomma, ixodidae

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Veterinary Parasitology. Amsterdam: Elsevier B.V., v. 143, n. 2, p. 147-154, 2007.