New Records of Ticks of Genus Amblyomma Koch, 1844 (Acari: Ixodidae) for Ecuador

Abstract

Purpose

In Ecuador, knowledge of the diversity and geographic distribution of ticks, as well as their importance as vectors, is scarce. Within the family Ixodidae, the genus Amblyomma is the most diverse and parasitizes wild and domestic animals. This genus is represented by 19 species in Ecuador, 12 of which occur in the continental territory and 7 in the Galapagos Islands. In this way, the objective of this work was to update the diversity of ticks reported for Ecuador on wild and domestic animals.

Methods

The specimens were collected manually on mammals and birds, in four localities belonging to the Sierra and Amazon of Ecuador and were kept in tubes with 96% ethyl alcohol. After that, all specimens were separated into immatures, males and females and were identified using their morphological characters.

Results

This study records Amblyomma coelebs Neumann, 1899, Amblyomma longirostre (Koch, 1844) Neumann, 1905 and Amblyomma varium Koch, 1844 for the first time in Ecuador. Thus, the genus Amblyomma is currently represented by 22 species. In addition, their hosts, distribution, and importance are also discussed.

Conclusions

Knowing the diversity of ticks that wildlife possesses, its interrelation with the domestic fauna, and the possible pathogens that could be transmitting could significantly contribute to wildlife's conservation.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to express our gratitude to Paul Duque for the elaboration of the political map of Ecuador. To Diego Navarro and Juan Carlos Navarro for translating the document. To Franklin Vaca, Jonathan Lomas, Francisco Carranza, Luis Morejón, Gabriela Ortiz, Nancy Jácome and Pablo Oyos for their valuable work in the collection of ticks in the field. To the technical staff of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) of the province of Sucumbíos, for their valuable help in field logistics. To Collection permit by Ministry of the Environment: PAR: Pathogens, Arthropods, and Reservoirs of Zoonoses in Ecuador, No. MAE-DNB-CM-2015-0028. This research was funded by the Project Arthropods wild vectors and domestic reservoirs as indicators of vulnerability to re-emerging zoonotic diseases of the Ecuadorian Amazon # 91750000.0000.377773, DGIP-UCE.

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Data collection and photos of hosts in the field were performed by AE. Morphological identification of the specimens was performed by RG, SIEM and EV. Pablo Araujo took the photographs of the ticks and gave suggestions to the manuscript. JA-H and WB-O contributed to the study conception and design. The first draft of the manuscript was written by SE and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Sandra Enríquez.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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The present study was conducted according to the legal requirements of Ecuador. Ecuadorian Environment Ministry (MAE) via Collection Permit “PAR: Pathogens, Arthropods, and Reservoirs of Zoonoses in Ecuador”, No. MAE-DNB-CM-2015-0028 authorized ticks capture on wild and domestic fauna. All animals were treated carefully when the ticks were taken and after that, they were released in their habitats.

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Enríquez, S., Guerrero, R., Arrivillaga-Henríquez, J. et al. New Records of Ticks of Genus Amblyomma Koch, 1844 (Acari: Ixodidae) for Ecuador. Acta Parasit. 65, 430–440 (2020). https://doi.org/10.2478/s11686-020-00173-7

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Keywords

  • Amblyomma
  • Ticks
  • Diversity
  • Wildlife
  • Geographical distribution