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Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research

On-line version ISSN 2219-0635
Print version ISSN 0030-2465

Abstract

HORAK, Ivan G. et al. Parasites of domestic and wild animals in South Africa. XLIX. Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) infesting white and black rhinoceroses in southern Africa. Onderstepoort j. vet. res. [online]. 2017, vol.84, n.1, pp.1-11. ISSN 2219-0635.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v84i1.1301.

The objectives of the study were to determine the species composition of ticks infesting white and black rhinoceroses in southern Africa as well as the conservation status of those tick species that prefer rhinos as hosts. Ticks were collected opportunistically from rhinos that had been immobilised for management purposes, and 447 white rhinoceroses (Ceratotherium simum) and 164 black rhinoceroses (Diceros bicornis) were sampled in South Africa, 61 black rhinos in Namibia, 18 white and 12 black rhinos in Zimbabwe, and 24 black rhinos in Zambia. Nineteen tick species were recovered, of which two species, Amblyomma rhinocerotis and Dermacentor rhinocerinus, prefer rhinos as hosts. A. rhinocerotis was collected only in the north-eastern KwaZulu-Natal reserves of South Africa and is endangered, while D. rhinocerinus is present in these reserves as well as in the Kruger National Park and surrounding conservancies. Eight of the tick species collected from the rhinos are ornate, and seven species are regularly collected from cattle. The species present on rhinos in the eastern, moister reserves of South Africa were amongst others Amblyomma hebraeum, A. rhinocerotis, D. rhinocerinus, Rhipicephalus maculatus, Rhipicephalus simus and Rhipicephalus zumpti, while those on rhinos in the Karoo and the drier western regions, including Namibia, were the drought-tolerant species, Hyalomma glabrum, Hyalomma rufipes, Hyalomma truncatum and Rhipicephalus gertrudae. The species composition of ticks on rhinoceroses in Zambia differed markedly from those of the other southern African countries in that Amblyomma sparsum, Amblyomma tholloni and Amblyomma variegatum accounted for the majority of infestations.

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