PARASITISM OF IMMATURE STAGES OFHAEMAPHYSALIS SULCATA(ACARI: IXODIDAE) ON SOME REPTILES IN TURKEY

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Abstract

Reptiles may contribute to maintaining tick populations by feeding larvae, nymphs, and adults. The life cycles and tickhost associations of many Turkish ticks are still poorly known, and only 3 ixodid tick species have been reported on 7 reptile species in Turkey. In this study, we performed a tick survey on reptiles in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey. In 2005, 57 reptiles (52 lizards and 5 snakes) comprising 10 species from 5 families were captured and examined for tick infestation. A total of 427 ticks was collected. The majority of ticks found on lizards was the immature stages of Haemaphysalis sulcata, 420 larvae and 4 nymphs. The only adult ticks recorded on the agamid lizard, Laudakia stellio, were Hyalomma aegyptium (1♂, 2 ♀). The highest tick infestation rate was recorded on specimens of Timon princeps. This study is the first detailed investigation on ticks infesting reptiles in Turkey. To the best of our knowledge, these tick-host associations have never been documented in the literature.

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