oa African Zoology - Ixodid ticks and other ectoparasites of wild ungulates in Swaziland: regional, host and seasonal patterns

Volume 30, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



Ixodid ticks and other ectoparasites were collected from impala (Aepyceros melampus). blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus), kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros), common duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia) and warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) in the Mlawula-Mbuluzi-Simunye Nature Reserve and Protected Area complex and Hlane Wildlife Sanctuary in the Swaziland lowveld, and from blue wildebeest and warthog in Malolotja Nature Reserve in the highveld from October 1985 to August 1986. The most commonly collected ticks were Amblyosomma hebraeum, Boophilus decoloratus, Rhipicephalus appendiculatus, R evertsi evertsi, R maculatus, R muehlensi and R. simus. The diversity and intensity of infestation were greater in the lowveld, where the ectoparasite community was similar to that reported from these host species in the eastern Transvaal lowveld and Kwazulu/Natal. A. hebraeum was collected throughout the year, but the largest samples were in October and November when the animals were in poor condition. The seasonal occurrence of R. appendiculatus adults on impala was later than that reported for other host species, possibly owing to seasonal changes in habitat use. Seasonal changes in habitat use and temperature effects on pre-oviposition and development of the eggs may have caused the seasonal patterns in the occurrence of B. decoloratus.

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