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Ornithodoros peropteryx (Acari: Argasidae) in Bolivia: an argasid tick with a single nymphal stage


By the end of the 1960s, the argasid tick Ornithodoros peropteryx was described from larval specimens collected from the bat Peropteryx macrotis in Colombia. Since its original description, no additional record of O. peropteryx has been reported, and its post-larval stages have remained unknown. During July 2010, 18 larvae were collected from 9 bats (Centronycteris maximiliani), resulting in a mean infestation of 2.0 ± 2.2 ticks per bat (range 1–8). These bats were captured in a farm in northeastern Bolivia close to Guaporé River in the border with Brazil. Morphological examinations of the larvae revealed them to represent the species O. peropteryx. One engorged larva that was kept alive in the laboratory moulted to a nymph after 9 days. Fourteen days after the larval moulting, the nymph moulted to an adult female without taking any blood meal during the nymphal period. This adult female was used for a morphological description of the female stage of O. peropteryx. In addition, the larvae were used for a morphological redescription of this stage. One larva and two legs extirpated from the adult female were submitted to DNA extraction and PCR targeting a fragment of the mitochondrial 16S rDNA gene, which yielded DNA sequences at least 11 % divergent from any available argasid sequence in Genbank. We show that O. peropteryx ontogeny is characterized by a single, non-feeding, nymphal stage. This condition has never been reported for ticks.

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We thank Lorenza Beati (United States National Tick Collection, Statesboro, USA) for her efforts in searching for type specimens O. peropteryx, and Alberto Guglielmone (INTA, Argentina) for his comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. This work was supported by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo, (FAPESP), Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) from Brazil, and INTA and Asociación Cooperadora INTA Rafaela from Argentina.

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Correspondence to Marcelo B. Labruna.

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Venzal, J.M., Nava, S., Terassini, F.A. et al. Ornithodoros peropteryx (Acari: Argasidae) in Bolivia: an argasid tick with a single nymphal stage. Exp Appl Acarol 61, 231–241 (2013).

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  • Argasidae
  • Ornithodoros
  • Morphology
  • Bolivia