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Ticks (Acari: Ixodida) parasitizing free-living wild animals in the Caatinga biome in the State of Pernambuco, northeastern Brazil

M. C. Horta, G. F. do Nascimento, T. F. Martins, M. B. Labruna, L. C. P. Machado, P. A. Nicola


Information on ticks from the Caatinga, a semi-arid biome unique to northeastern Brazil, is scarce. The present study reports field data on ticks infesting free-living wild animals in native Caatinga vegetation within the municipalities of Cabrobo, Custodia, Floresta, Ibimirim and Salgueiro, State of Pernambuco, Brazil. During field work from March 2009 to February 2010, a total of 91 ticks were collected from the following animals: Amblyomma rotundatum parasitizing Boa constrictor (tropical American boa); Amblyomma auricularium parasitizing Euphractus sexcintus (yellow armadillo), Galea spixii (Spix yellow-toothed cavy), Thrichomys apereoides (common punare), Monodelphis domestica (gray short-tailed opossum) and Conepatus semistriatus (striped hog-nosed skunk); Amblyomma parvum parasitizing G. spixii and T. apereoides; and Ornithodoros ( Alectorobius) sp. parasitizing Wiedomys pyrrhorhinos (red-nosed mouse). We report the first tick infestation in northeastern Brazil on G. spixii and C. semistriatus. Thrichomys apereoides and G. spixii are new host records for A. auricularium and A. parvum, while W. pyrrhorhinos is a new host record for Ornithodoros ( Alectorobius) sp. Conepatus semistriatus is recorded for the first time parasitized by A. auricularium in Pernambuco State. The present study increases our knowledge of the distribution of ticks and their parasitism of wildlife in northeastern Brazil.

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An international journal of the Systematic and Applied Acarology Society

ISSN 1362-1971