Experimental & Applied Acarology

, Volume 40, Issue 3–4, pp 279–290 | Cite as

Hyalomma aegyptium as dominant tick in tortoises of the genus Testudo in Balkan countries, with notes on its host preferences

  • Pavel Široký
  • Klára J. Petrželková
  • Martin Kamler
  • Andrei D. Mihalca
  • David Modrý


Collection of 1327 ticks sampled throughout Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia, from 211 tortoises belonging to three species, Testudo marginata Schoepff, T. graeca Linnaeus, and T. hermanni Gmelin, revealed the presence of four species of ixodid ticks, namely Hyalomma aegyptium (Linnaeus), Haemaphysalis sulcata Canestrini and Fanzago, H. inermis Birula and Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Latreille). Study confirmed the strong dominance of all life stages of H. aegyptium among ticks parasitizing west Palaearctic tortoises of genus Testudo Linnaeus. Furthermore, a considerable portion of ticks collected from tortoises in southwestern Bulgaria represent larvae and nymphs of H. sulcata. At the same area we collected as exception one larva and one nymph of H. inermis from a single specimen of T. hermanni. Our findings of four adults of R. sanguineus is the first record of this species from reptilian host. According to our results achieved on localities with syntopic occurrence of two tortoise species, T. marginata and T. graeca represent in the Balkans the principal hosts of H. aegyptium, whereas T. hermanni serves only as an alternative host in the areas close to range of either T. marginata or T. graeca.


Hyalomma aegyptium host preferences Haemaphysalis sulcata Haemaphysalis inermis Rhipicephalus sanguineus Balkan Testudo spp 












The study was partially supported by the grants No. 524/03/H133 and No. 524/03/D104 of the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic. We are grateful to all members of the Bulgaria 2002 expedition for help in the field. Thanks to Vesna Cafuta and Tomi Trilar (Slovenian Museum of Natural History) for the loan of comparative material, to Gerrit Uilenberg and Philippe Parola for information on Corsican finding of H. aegyptium and to Eva Jánová for consultation of used statistic methods. We thank also to two anonymous reviewers for their improve the early version of manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pavel Široký
    • 1
  • Klára J. Petrželková
    • 2
  • Martin Kamler
    • 3
  • Andrei D. Mihalca
    • 4
  • David Modrý
    • 3
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Biology and Wildlife DiseasesUniversity of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical SciencesBrnoCzech Republic
  2. 2.Department of Mammal Ecology, Institute of Vertebrate BiologyAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicBrnoCzech Republic
  3. 3.Department of ParasitologyUniversity of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical SciencesBrnoCzech Republic
  4. 4.Department of Parasitology and Parasitic DiseasesFaculty of Veterinary MedicineCluj-NapocaRomania
  5. 5.Institute of Parasitology, Biology CenterAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicČeské BudějoviceCzech Republic

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