Original Research

Parasites of domestic and wild animals in South Africa. XLVII. Ticks of tortoises and other reptiles

I.G. Horak, I.J. McKay, B.T. Henen, Heloise Heyne, Margaretha D. Hofmeyer, A.L. De Villiers
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 73, No 3 | a148 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v73i3.148 | © 2006 I.G. Horak, I.J. McKay, B.T. Henen, Heloise Heyne, Margaretha D. Hofmeyer, A.L. De Villiers | This work is licensed under CC Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0
Submitted: 13 September 2006 | Published: 13 September 2006

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I.G. Horak,
I.J. McKay,
B.T. Henen,
Heloise Heyne,
Margaretha D. Hofmeyer,
A.L. De Villiers,

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Abstract

A total of 586 reptiles, belonging to 35 species and five subspecies, were examined in surveys aimed at determining the species spectrum and geographic distribution of ticks that infest them. Of these reptiles 509 were tortoises, 28 monitor or other lizards, and 49 snakes. Nine ixodid tick species, of which seven belonged to the genus Amblyomma, and one argasid tick, Ornithodoros compactus were recovered. Seven of the ten tick species are parasites of reptiles. Amongst these seven species Amblyomma marmoreum was most prevalent and numerous on leopard tortoises, Geochelone pardalis; Amblyomma nuttalli was present only on Bell's hinged tortoises, Kinixys belliana; and most Amblyomma sylvaticum were collected from angulate tortoises, Chersina angulata. Amblyomma exornatum (formerly Aponomma exornatum) was only recovered from monitor lizards, Varanus spp.; most Amblyomma latum (formerly Aponomma latum) were from snakes; and a single nymph of Amblyomma transversale (formerly Aponomma transversale) was collected from a southern African python, Python natalensis. All 30 Namaqualand speckled padloper tortoises, Homopus signatus signatus, examined were infested with O. compactus.
The seasonal occurrence of A. sylvaticum and the geographic distribution of this tick and of A. marmoreum, A. nuttalli, A. exornatum, A. latum and O. compactus are illustrated.

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