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Infestation by ticks Argasidae and Ixodidae on small wild mammals at the Experimental Station Rafael Fernandes, Mossoró/RN, Brazil


Few studies have assessed the diversity of ectoparasites and their associated hosts occurring within the Caatinga biome in northeastern Brazil. Considering this lack of knowledge, in this study we aimed to identify and determine the occurrence of ticks collected from small mammals at the Estação Experimental Rafael Fernandes, in Rio Grande do Norte state, Brazil. From January 2014 to February 2015, we captured 52 marsupials (38 Gracilinanus agilis and 14 Monodelphis domestica) and 10 rodents (5 Wiedomys sp., 4 Thrichomys sp. and 1 Rattus norvegicus). We identified the ticks Amblyomma auricularium, Amblyomma parvum, Amblyomma sp., Ornithodoros mimon and Ornithodoros sp. by a morphological study, the use of taxonomic keys, and the partial sequencing of the tick mitochondrial 16S rDNA gene. All the tick-host associations found in this study are reported for the first time in Rio Grande do Norte and constitute new ecological data concerning ectoparasites of small mammals in northeastern Brazil.

Ticks; Argasidae; Ixodidae; wild mammals; Amblyomma auricularium; Amblyomma parvum; Gracilinanus agilis; Monodelphis domestica; Ornithodoros mimon

Colégio Brasileiro de Patologia Animal - CBPA Pesquisa Veterinária Brasileira, Caixa Postal 74.591, 23890-000 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil, Tel./Fax: (55 21) 2682-1081 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil