, Volume 51, Issue 4, pp 335-351
Date: 19 Jan 2010

Hosts, distribution and genetic divergence (16S rDNA) of Amblyomma dubitatum (Acari: Ixodidae)

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Abstract

We supply information about hosts and distribution of Amblyomma dubitatum. In addition, we carry out an analysis of genetic divergence among specimens of A. dubitatum from different localities and with respect to other Neotropical Amblyomma species, using sequences of 16S rDNA gene. Although specimens of A. dubitatum were collected on several mammal species as cattle horse, Tapirus terrestris, Mazama gouazoubira, Tayassu pecari, Sus scrofa, Cerdocyon thous, Myocastor coypus, Allouata caraya, Glossophaga soricina and man, most records of immature and adult stages of A. dubitatum were made on Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, making this rodent the principal host for all parasitic stages of this ticks. Cricetidae rodents (Lundomys molitor, Scapteromys tumidus), opossums (Didelphis albiventris) and vizcacha (Lagostomus maximus) also were recorded as hosts for immature stages. All findings of A. dubitatum correspond to localities of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, and they were concentrated in the Biogeographical provinces of Pampa, Chaco, Cerrado, Brazilian Atlantic Forest, Parana Forest and Araucaria angustifolia Forest. The distribution of A. dubitatum is narrower than that of its principal host, therefore environmental variables rather than hosts determine the distributional ranges of this tick. The intraspecific genetic divergence among 16S rDNA sequences of A. dubitatum ticks collected in different localities from Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay was in all cases lower than 0.8%, whereas the differences with the remaining Amblyomma species included in the analysis were always bigger than 6.8%. Thus, the taxonomic status of A. dubitatum along its distribution appears to be certain at the specific level.