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Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research

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

Onderstepoort j. vet. res. vol.76 n.2 Pretoria  2009




Ticks collected from birds in the northern provinces of South Africa, 2004-2006



G. HasleI; I.G. HorakII; G. GrieveIII; H.P. LeinaasIV; F. ClarkeV

IOslo Travel Clinic, St Olavs plass 3, NO-0165 Oslo, Norway
IIDepartment of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa, and Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of the Free State, P.O. Box 339, Bloemfontein, 9300 South Africa
IIIBirdlife Northern Gauteng Ringing Group, 344 Delphinus Street, Waterkloof Ridge, Pretoria, 0181 South Africa
IVDepartment of Biology, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1066 Blindern, NO-0316 Oslo, Norway
VDepartment of Biology, University of Limpopo (Medunsa Campus), P.O. Box 139, Medunsa, 0204 South Africa




Approximately 3 000 birds, mainly passerines, caught in mist nets in the northern provinces of South Africa, were examined for ticks. A total of 178 ticks, belonging to 14 species, were recovered from 83 birds of 43 different species. Hyalomma rufipes was the most numerous tick, with 26 larvae and 109 nymphs collected, followed by Amblyomma marmoreum, with 13 larvae and two nymphs. Despite the study being conducted within the distribution range of Amblyomma hebraeum, it was not seen on any passerines, whereas three larger species were infested. The potential for small birds to spread ticks with their associated tick-borne pathogens is discussed.

Keywords: Amblyomma marmoreum, birds, Hyalomma rufipes, migration, northern South Africa, passerines, ticks



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Accepted for publication 22 August 2008-Editor



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