The tick fauna of Sulawesi, Indonesia (Acari: Ixodoidea: Argasidae and Ixodidae)

  • Lance A. Durden
  • Stefan Merker
  • Lorenza Beati


Twenty-six species of ticks are reported from the island of Sulawesi (Celebes), Indonesia. These include two species of soft ticks (Argasidae), Carios batuensis and C. vespertilionis, and the following 24 species of hard ticks (Ixodidae): Amblyomma babirussae, A. breviscutatum, A. cordiferum, A. fimbriatum, A. helvolum, A. testudinarium, A. trimaculatum, A. varanense, Dermacentor atrosignatus, D. steini, Haemaphysalis celebensis, H. hystricis, H. kadarsani, H. papuana, H. psalistos, H. renschi, H. toxopei, H. wellingtoni, Ixodes cordifer, I. granulatus, Rhipicephalus haemaphysaloides, R. (Boophilus) microplus, R. pilans and R. sanguineus. This represents an almost three-fold increase in the number of tick species recorded (9) from Sulawesi since the last available list in 1950. The tick records reported herein represent a culmination of data from specimens in the U.S. National Tick Collection, new records of ticks from endemic tarsiers and associated vertebrates, and literature reviews. Collectively, the tick fauna of Sulawesi shows most affinities with the fauna of southeast Asia but there are distinct faunal elements that show relationships with other Indonesian islands, the Philippines or Australasia, as well as a few tick species with widespread geographical distributions. Some ticks known from Sulawesi have known or potential medical-veterinary significance. These include R. (B.) microplus which is a significant pest of cattle and a vector of the agents of bovine anaplasmosis, I. granulatus which is a vector of Langat virus and Lyme disease spirochetes and has been shown to harbor pathogenic rickettsiae in other parts of its range, and R. sanguineus which is a globally widespread ectoparasite of canines and a vector of canine pathogens and parasites.


Argasidae Distribution Health risk Hosts Ixodidae Indonesia Ixodoidea Sulawesi 



LAD’s fieldwork in Sulawesi was sponsored by the Committee for Research and Exploration of the National Geographic Society. SM’s fieldwork was sponsored by the Indonesian Primate Research Center PRC-IPB Bogor, the German Academic Exchange Service, and the German Research Foundation. We are grateful to Guy G. Musser (AMNH, New York), NAMRU-2 personnel, C. H. S. Watts (University of South Australia, Adelaide) and others for collecting ticks during their fieldwork in Sulawesi. We also thank Richard G. Robbins (Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington DC, USA) and Trevor Petney (Karlsruhe University, Germany) for assistance with literature searches. Finally, we are indebted to previous curators and researchers who originally identified many of the tick specimens discussed in this paper: Harry Hoogstraal (deceased), Hans Klompen (The Ohio State University, USA), Glen M. Kohls (deceased), James E. Keirans (retired), Richard G. Robbins and Hilda Y. Wassef (deceased).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lance A. Durden
    • 1
  • Stefan Merker
    • 2
  • Lorenza Beati
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Biology and Institute of Arthropodology & ParasitologyGeorgia Southern UniversityStatesboroUSA
  2. 2.Institut fuer AnthropologieJohannes Gutenberg-Universitaet MainzMainzGermany
  3. 3.U.S. National Tick Collection and Institute of Arthropodology & ParasitologyGeorgia Southern UniversityStatesboroUSA

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