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Interspecific variations in attachment sites and density assessment in femaleIxodes rubicundus (Acari: Ixodidae) on domestic and natural hosts

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The attachment sites of female Karoo paralysis ticks (Ixodes rubicundus) and equations to assess tick burdens on domestic (sheep and goats) and natural (mountain reedbuck) hosts were determined. No intraspecific differences in attachment sites for Merino sheep and Angora goats could be observed, but interspecific differences were evident.Ixodes rubicundus in general attaches on the ventral aspects of the host. More than 50% of these ticks attached to the fron quarters of the body of the domestic host, and 60% to the hindquarters of the natural host. The length of Merino sheep wool had no affect on either the attachment site or number of attached ticks. In general, more ticks were found attached to the woollen than non-woollen body areas. Equations are provided which can estimate tick burdens on hosts by counting the ticks on two or three selected body areas of the host. To facilitate sampling procedures, approximate sample sizes for the various hosts needed to estimate average tick burdens have been provided. Depending on the level of precision required (with bounds on the error of estimation equal to 1, 2 or 5 ticks), the number of animals in a flock of 200 Angora goats that must be examined varied from 26 to 85.

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Fourie, L.J., van Zyl, J.M. Interspecific variations in attachment sites and density assessment in femaleIxodes rubicundus (Acari: Ixodidae) on domestic and natural hosts. Exp Appl Acarol 13, 1–10 (1991).

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