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Tick infestation on caimans: a casual tick-host association in the Atlantic rainforest biome?

  • Filipe Dantas-TorresEmail author
  • Paulo Braga Mascarenhas-Junior
  • Haggy Rodrigues dos Anjos
  • Ednilza Maranhão dos Santos
  • Jozelia Maria Sousa Correia
Article
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Abstract

Ticks are parasites of birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles, but information about tick communities that parasitize reptiles in the Neotropical region is still fragmentary. In the present study, we assessed the presence of ticks on broad-snouted caimans (Caiman latirostris) and Cuvier’s dwarf caimans (Paleosuchus palpebrosus) trapped in the Atlantic rainforest biome in Pernambuco state, north-eastern Brazil, to determine which tick species feed on these animals and how frequent or rare this parasite-wildlife association is. We also report an occasional finding of Amblyomma rotundatum on a smooth-fronted caiman (Paleosuchus trigonatus) in the Amazon biome in Pará state, northern Brazil. Out of 490 animals trapped in the Atlantic rainforest biome, four (0.82%) broad-snouted caimans were infested by ticks. Ticks belonged to two Amblyomma species: A. rotundatum (three females) and A. fuscum (one male). Our findings indicate that ticks are infrequent parasites of caimans in the Atlantic rainforest biome. Tick infestation on broad-snouted caimans is probably of minor clinical significance and probably a casual finding due to habitat sharing with the common tick hosts.

Keywords

Caimans Ticks Amblyomma rotundatum Amblyomma fuscum Caiman latirostris Paleosuchus palpebrosus Paleosuchus trigonatus 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Lucas C. de Sousa-Paula (Aggeu Magalhães Institute, Fiocruz, Brazil) for elaboration of Fig. 1. This study was supported by Fundação de Amparo a Ciência e Tecnologia do Estado de Pernambuco (FACEPE; APQ 0245 − 2.04/15). FDT is the recipient of a research fellowship from Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq; 313118/2018-3).

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratório de Imunoparasitologia, Department of ImmunologyAggeu Magalhães Institute, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz)RecifeBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório Interdisciplinar de Anfíbios e Répteis, Department of BiologyUniversidade Federal Rural de PernambucoRecifeBrazil

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