Ticks (Acari:Ixodidae) of the Blue and White Nile ecosystems in the Sudan with particular reference to theRhipicephalus sanguineus group
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Twenty-four adult ixodid tick species, infesting livestock and some wildlife hosts along the Blue and White Nile in the Sudan, were identified. Three species,Boophilus geigyi, Rhipicephalus camicasi andR. bergeoni, were recorded for the first time from the Sudan. Tick numbers on indigenous breeds of cattle (Bos indicus) were relatively low, ranging between 17.1 and 40.5 per animal. Young cattle grazing with the herd carried significantly fewer ticks than older animals. With the exception ofB. annulatus andR. simus, which have extended their distribution further north into Blue Nile, Gezira and Khartoum Provinces, the distribution patterns of the most important cattle ticks have been relatively unchanged over the past 30 years.
TheRhicicephalus sanguineus group was represented by six species.R. camicasi was the only species present on cattle, sheep and goats in the north in Kassala and Khartoum Provinces, whereas this species occurred sympatrically withR. guilhoni andR. turanicus further south in Gezira and Blue Nile Provinces. In the Southern Region of the Sudan onlyR. turanicus andR. guilhoni were present, the latter being by far the predominant species, with peak activity towards the end of the rains in the Jonglei Canal Area.R. bergeoni was collected once, from cattle near the Ethiopian border in Blue Nile Province, whereasR. sanguineus sensu stricto was collected throughout the study area, from domestic dogs only. Finally,R. sulcatus was found once on a hare.
The distributions of the common tick species are correlated with the occurrence of tick-borne diseases of domestic animals and recommendations for the control of tick-borne diseases and their vectors in the Sudan are given.
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