Document Type : Original Article

Author

Niğde Ö. H. University, Faculty of Science-Arts, Department of Biology, Niğde-TURKEY

Abstract

The present study identified 881 specimens of the ticks found on about 2000 domestic sheep in Niğde Province. During this investigation, Argasidae (Ornithodoros (Alveonasus) lahorensis) and eight Ixodidae species of (Dermacentor (Serdjukovia) marginatus, D. (S.) niveus, Haemaphysalis (Haemaphysalis) concinna, H. (Alloceraea) inermis, H. (Segalia) parva, H. (Aboimisalis) punctata, H. (Herpetobia) sulcata, and Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus) were determined. The distribution at the genera level of the samples are as follows: Haemaphysalis 73.2 %, Ornithodoros 16.1 %, Dermacentor 10.2 %, and Rhipicephalus 0.45 %. H. sulcata was the most common species with 256 specimens(29.1 %), and H. concinna was the rarest species with only one specimen (0.1 %). D. niveus was recorded for the first time from Niğde Province. Besides, the seasonality and taxonomic status of the recorded species are discussed in the current article.

Keywords

 

DOI: ‎10.22120/jwb.2020.130348.1162

Special issue 31-40 (2020)

 

Challenges for Biodiversity and Conservation in the Mediterranean Region

 

 

Research Article

(http://www.wildlife-biodiversity.com/)

 

 


A systematic investigation on the ticks (Acari: Ixodida) of the domestic sheep in Niğde Province, Turkey


 

Ayşegül Karataş

Niğde Ö. H. University, Faculty of Science-Arts, Department of Biology, Niğde-Turkey

‎Email:leiurus9@hotmail.com

 

Received: 4 July 2020 / Revised: 2 August 2020 / Accepted: 2 August 2020 / Published online: 21 October 2020. Ministry of Sciences, Research, and Technology, Arak University, Iran.

 

Abstract

The present study identified 881 specimens of the ticks found on about 2000 domestic sheep in Niğde Province. During this investigation, Argasidae (Ornithodoros (Alveonasus) lahorensis) and eight Ixodidae species of (Dermacentor (Serdjukovia) marginatus, D. (S.) niveus, Haemaphysalis (Haemaphysalis) concinna, H. (Alloceraea) inermis, H. (Segalia) parva, H. (Aboimisalis) punctata, H. (Herpetobia) sulcata, and Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus) were determined. The distribution at the genera level of the samples are as follows: Haemaphysalis 73.2 %, Ornithodoros 16.1 %, Dermacentor 10.2 %, and Rhipicephalus 0.45 %. H. sulcata was the most common species with 256 specimens(29.1 %), and H. concinna was the rarest species with only one specimen (0.1 %). D. niveus was recorded for the first time from Niğde Province. Besides, the seasonality and taxonomic status of the recorded species are discussed in the current article.

 

Keywords: Argasidae, Ectoparasites, Ixodidae, Ixodoidea

Introduction

Ticks (Acari: Ixodida) are among the best-known groups of hematophagous ectoparasites of a wide variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. They have paramount importance in medical and veterinary research since either their transmission of pathogenic agents, including viruses, bacteria, and protozoa to hosts, causes blood loss and tick-induced paralysis (Keskin and Erciyas-Yavuz 2019, Keskin et al. 2019).

Horak et al. (2002) recognized 867 species in three families for the world's tick fauna. The family Argasidae consists of 183 species in four genera (Argas, Carios, Ornithodoros, and Otobius). Two hundred forty-one species represent the family Ixodidae in the genus Ixodes and 442 species in 11 genera. They regarded the genus Boophilus as a subgenus of the genus Rhipicephalus. The last family Nuttalliellidae is formed by the monospecific genus Nuttalliella.

In a more recent study, Guglielmone et al. (2010) listed valid 896 tick species in three families for the ticks of the world. The family of the soft ticks, Argasidae, comprises 193 species, but there is widespread disagreement concerning the genera in this family, and fully 133 argasids will have to be further studied before any consensus can be reached on the issue of genus-level classification. The family of the hard ticks, Ixodidae, consists of 702 species in 14 genera. The Nuttalliellidae is composed of a single species, Nuttalliella namaqua. Of these, only the first two families are represented in Turkey by 51 species; 8 species from the family Argasidae and 43 species from the family Ixodidae (Bursalı et al. 2012, Keskin and Erciyas-Yavuz 2019, Keskin et al. 2019).

On the other hand, the taxonomic status of some taxa is discussed. In particular, the validity of some species of the genus Dermocentor remains uncertain. Estrada-Peña and Estrada-Peña (1991) examined part of the syntype series of Dermocentor niveus from Iran, and they reported that D. niveus is conspecific with D. marginatus. Moshaverinia et al. (2009) supported this view. Guglielmone et al. (2010) noted that a more comprehensive comparative study of D. marginatus, D. niveus, and D. ushakovae appears to be needed to demonstrate the validity of these taxa further, and they considered D. niveus provisionally valid while awaiting the results of this comparison.

The present study was aimed to determine species of ticks infesting domestic sheep in Niğde Province and their distribution. The fact that animal husbandry is one of the important livelihoods in Niğde increases the importance of this study. Also, considering that the Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), with outbreaks between 2002 and 2010 in Turkey and can result in deaths in humans, is a zoonosis caused by pathogenic agents carrying by ticks, the increase of information about ticks in our country is significant to struggle disease.

Material and methods

Niğde is located in Central Anatolia of Turkey, with a 2699.23 km2 area. The volcanic mountains, Hasan Mt and Melendiz Mts, in the northwest and north and tectonic mountain ranges, the Bolkarlar (Central Taurus) Mts in the south Aladaglar Mts in the southeast. The city is in the middle of these mountain groups. Although the altitude is about 1,230 m a.s.l. in the centrum, elevation reaches 3,524 m a.s.l. on Medetsiz Peak, the highest place of Bolkarlar, and to 3,767 m a.s.l. on Kızılkaya, the highest area in Aladağlar. Due to its height, Niğde Province has many plateaus, and it is an ideal place for livestock and parasites.

In this study, 881 tick samples collected from sheep in centrum and villages of Niğde province between 31 March 1996 and 21 May 1997 were evaluated. Localities where samples are collected, are shown in Fig. 1 and Table 1.

 

 

 

 

Figure 1. Localities of tick samples collected

 

 

 

Table 1. List of tick species according to the localities in Niğde province

District

The village, quarter, or vicinity

Tick Species

Central (Niğde)

centrum

6 Ornithodoros (Alveonasus) lahorensis,

1 Haemaphysalis (Haemaphysalis) concinna

abattoir

2 Dermacentor (Serdjukovia) marginatus,

8 Haemaphysalis (Segalia) parva (=H. otophila),

5 Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata

around the cement factory

1 Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata

Eski Saray

1 Dermacentor (Serdjukovia) niveus

Kayaardı

1 Haemaphysalis (Aboimisalis) punctata

Sarıova

2 Dermacentor (Serdjukovia) marginatus,

3 Dermacentor (Serdjukovia) niveus,

16 Haemaphysalis (Aboimisalis) punctata,

56 Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata,

4 Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus annulatus

Yörük Quarter

4 Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata

Aşlama

6 Ornithodoros (Alveonasus) lahorensis

Bağlama

1 Haemaphysalis (Aboimisalis) punctata

Çavdarlı

61 Ornithodoros (Alveonasus) lahorensis,

45 Haemaphysalis (Segalia) parva (=H. otophila),

4 Haemaphysalis (Aboimisalis) punctata,

18 Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata

Dündarlı

1 Dermacentor (Serdjukovia) marginatus,

1 Dermacentor (Serdjukovia) niveus,

3 Haemaphysalis (Segalia) parva (=H. otophila),

8 Haemaphysalis (Aboimisalis) punctata,

1 Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata

Edikli

1 Dermacentor (Serdjukovia) marginatus,

7 Dermacentor (Serdjukovia) niveus,

2 Haemaphysalis (Segalia) parva (=H. otophila),

23 Haemaphysalis (Aboimisalis) punctata,

60 Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata

Elmalı

10 Dermacentor (Serdjukovia) marginatus,

12 Dermacentor (Serdjukovia) niveus,

2 Haemaphysalis (Aboimisalis) punctata,

3 Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata

Gümüşler (incl. Eski Gümüş)

7 Haemaphysalis (Segalia) parva (=H. otophila)

Hacı Abdullah

1 Haemaphysalis (Aboimisalis) punctata

Hançerli

2 Haemaphysalis (Segalia) parva (=H. otophila),

1 Haemaphysalis (Aboimisalis) punctata,

1 Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata

Himmetli

54 Ornithodoros (Alveonasus) lahorensis,

3 Dermacentor (Serdjukovia) marginatus,

35 Dermacentor (Serdjukovia) niveus,

27 Haemaphysalis (Segalia) parva (=H. otophila),

37 Haemaphysalis (Aboimisalis) punctata,

59 Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata

Hüyük

1 Dermacentor (Serdjukovia) marginatus

Konaklı

2 Dermacentor (Serdjukovia) marginatus,

1 Haemaphysalis (Segalia) parva (=H. otophila)

Orhanlı

6 Ornithodoros (Alveonasus) lahorensis

Sazlıca

1 Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata

 


Table 1 continued. List of tick species according to the localities in Niğde province

District

The village, quarter, or vicinity

Tick Species

Tepeköy

1 Haemaphysalis (Alloceraea) inermiş,

2 Haemaphysalis (Segalia) parva (=H. otophila), 3 Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata

Yarhisar

2 Dermacentor (Serdjukovia) marginatus,

4 Dermacentor (Serdjukovia) niveus,

79 Haemaphysalis (Segalia) parva (=H. otophila), 4 Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata

Altınhisar

centrum

2 Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata

Keçikalesi

13 Ornithodoros (Alveonasus) lahorensis,

4 Haemaphysalis (Segalia) parva (=H. otophila),

1 Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata

Bor

centrum

14 Ornithodoros (Alveonasus) lahorensis

Balcı

1 Haemaphysalis (Aboimisalis) punctata

Gökbez

7 Haemaphysalis (Alloceraea) inermiş,

4 Haemaphysalis (Segalia) parva (=H. otophila)

Kemerhisar

2 Dermacentor (Serdjukovia) marginatus,

2 Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata

Tepeköy

1 Haemaphysalis (Aboimisalis) punctata

Çamardı

centrum

13 Ornithodoros (Alveonasus) lahorensis

Bademdere

61 Haemaphysalis (Alloceraea) inermiş,

3 Haemaphysalis (Segalia) parva (=H. otophila),

1 Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata

Bulduruş Pass

7 Haemaphysalis (Segalia) parva (=H. otophila),

5 Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata

Celâller

1 Haemaphysalis (Aboimisalis) punctata,

1 Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata

Sulucaova

2 Haemaphysalis (Segalia) parva (=H. otophila),

2 Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata

Üçkapılı (Özyurt)

1 Dermacentor (Serdjukovia) niveus,

2 Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata

Çiftlik

Azatlı

2 Ornithodoros (Alveonasus) lahorensis,

5 Haemaphysalis (Segalia) parva (=H. otophila),

10 Haemaphysalis (Aboimisalis) punctata,

10 Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata

Çınarlı

1 Ornithodoros (Alveonasus) lahorensis

Murtaza

16 Ornithodoros (Alveonasus) lahorensis,

3 Haemaphysalis (Segalia) parva (=H. otophila),

5 Haemaphysalis (Aboimisalis) punctata,

12 Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata

Ulukışla

centrum

1 Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata

Başmakçı

3 Haemaphysalis (Segalia) parva (=H. otophila)

Ovacık

4 Ornithodoros (Alveonasus) lahorensis,

1 Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata

 

 

As a faunistic and systematic investigation, this study did not focus on sheep breeds and the ticks infestation rate o Starting from the animal's head, the whole body was examined as well as the naked eye and hand. Meanwhile, we checked the sheepfolds as well. The ticks collected are put into 70% ethyl alcohol, adding one drop of glycerin to the alcohol to prevent hardening. Ticks cleaned with a soft brush in the laboratory were placed on a glass paste, examined, and photographed under a stereo-microscope and light microscope (with upper light). Identification of ticks was made according to keys and other systematic publications (Senevet 1937, Hoogstraal 1956, Arthur 1963, Merdivenci 1969, Özkan 1978, Hosseini-Chegeni et al. 2014). After species identification, the samples were placed in vials and labeled with their scientific name, age group, gender, locality, and date. All specimens have been deposited in our tick collection in the Department of Zoology, Niğde University (ZDNU).

Results

As a result of the examination of 881 ticks collected from Niğde Province, this study revealed a total of nine species parasitized in sheep that one species (Ornithodoros (Alveonasus) lahorensis) from the family Argasidae and eight species from the family Ixodidae (Dermacentor (Serdjukovia) marginatus, D. (S.) niveus, Haemaphysalis (Haemaphysalis) concinna, H. (Alloceraea) inermis, H. (Segalia) parva, H. (Aboimisalis) punctata, H. (Herpetobia) sulcata, and Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus). We found that 73.2% of the samples belong to the genus Haemaphysalis Koch, 1844, 16.1% to the genus Ornithodoros Koch,1844, 10.2% to the genus Dermacentor Koch, 1844, and 0.45% to the genus Rhipicephalus Koch, 1844(or the subgenus Boophilus Curtice, 1891). Of these species, H. sulcata was the most common with 256 samples, and a ratio of 29.1%, and H. concinna, was the rarest species with a ratio of 0.1%. (with only a single individual).  On the other hand, 426 of the samples were adult females, with a ratio of 48.4%; 328 samples were mature male, with a ratio of 37.2%; 124 samples were nymphs with a ratio of 14.1%, and we only found three specimens as larvae with a ratio of 0.3%. Larvae were observed only for H. inermis and nymphs for O. lahorensis. Additionally, any sample for both male H. inermis and female H. concinna could not be recorded (Fig. 2). The following pie chart shows the identified tick species, their localities, and the numbers of the specimens.

 

 

 

Figure 2. Percentage of species by number of samples

 

Figure 3. Number of samples of tick species by larvae, nymphs, adults (females and males)


Family ARGASIDAE Canestrini, 1890

Ornithodoros (Alveonasus) lahorensis (Neumann, 1901)

Localities and number of specimens [total 142]: Niğde (Central District), 17.I.1997, 4 nymphs, 1 ♀; 13.II.1997, 1 ♂; Aşlama, 1.I.1997, 3 nymphs, 2 ♀♀, 1 ♂; Çavdarlı, 12.III.1997, 6 nymphs, 1 ♂; Himmetli, 18.III.1997, 50 nymphs, 3 ♀♀, 1 ♂; Niğde (Gölcük): Orhanlı, 1.I.1997, 5 nymphs, 1 ♀; Altınhisar: Keçikalesi, 25.XII.1996, 2 ♂♂, 11 nymphs; Bor (centrum), 17.XII.1996, 14 nymphs; Çamardı: 1.I.1997, 12 nymphs, 1 ♂; Çiftlik: Azatlı, 5.III.1997, 1 nymph, 1 ♂; Çınarlı, 26.II.1997, 1 ♀; Murtaza, 25.XII.1996, 16 nymphs; Ulukışla: Ovacık, 1.I.1997, 2 nymphs, 2 ♀♀.

Family IXODIDAE Murray, 1877

Dermacentor (Serdjukovia) marginatus (Sulzer, 1776)

Localities and number of specimens [26]: Niğde (centrum): Sarıova vicinity, 26.XI.1996, 2 ♀♀; abattoir (unknown origin), 17.XI.1996, 1 ♀, 1 ♂; Dündarlı, 21.III.1997, 1 ♀; Edikli, 16.XII.1996, 1 ♀; Elmalı, 10.I.1997, 2 ♀♀; 28.III.1997, 8 ♀♀; Himmetli, 18.III.1997, 1 ♀, 2 ♂♂; Hüyük, 17.XI.1996, 1 ♀; Konaklı, 17.XI.1996, 2 ♀♀; Yarhisar, 17.III.1997, 2 ♀♀; Bor (Kemerhisar): 31.III.1996, 1 ♀, 1 ♂.

Dermacentor (Serdjukovia) niveus Neumann, 1897

Localities and number of specimens [64]: Niğde (centrum): Eski Saray Quarter, 5.IV.1996, 1 ♂; Sarıova vicinity, 30.X.1996, 1 ♀; 20.III.1997, 1 ♂; 7.IV.1997, 1 ♂; Dündarlı, 21.III.1997, 1 ♀; Edikli, 31.III.1997, 7 ♀♀; Elmalı, 28.III.1997, 3 ♀♀, 9 ♂♂; Himmetli, 18.III.1997, 15 ♀♀, 20 ♂♂; Yarhisar, 17.III.1997, 2 ♀♀, 2 ♂♂; Çamardı: Üçkapılı (Özyurt), 17.XI.1996, 1 ♂.

Haemaphysalis (Haemaphysalis) concinna Koch, 1844

Localities and number of specimen [1]: Niğde (centrum), 21.V.1997; 1 ♂.

Haemaphysalis (Alloceraea) inermis Birula 1895

Localities and number of specimens [69]: Niğde (Central District): Tepeköy, 16.XII.1996, 1 ♀; Bor (Kemerhisar): Gökbez, 17.XII.1996, 7 ♀♀; Çamardı: Bademdere, 17.XII.1996, 3 larvae, 58 ♀♀.

Haemaphysalis (Segalia) parva (Neumann, 1897) (=H. otophila Schulze, 1918)

Localities and number of specimens [207]: Niğde (centrum): abattoir (unknown origin), 12.XI.1996, 1 ♂; 20.III.1997, 7 ♂♂; Çavdarlı, 17.III.1997, 11 ♀♀, 34 ♂♂; Dündarlı, 21.III.1997, 2 ♀♀, 1 ♂; Edikli, 16.XII.1996, 1 ♀, 1 ♂; Gümüşler, 1.I.1997, 4 ♂♂; Gümüşler, Eskigümüş, 25.XII.1996, 3 ♂♂; Hançerli, 8.I.1997, 2 ♂♂; Himmetli, 17.III.1997, 1 ♂; 18.III.1997, 2 ♀♀, 21 ♂♂; 13.IV.1997, 3 ♂♂; Tepeköy, 16.XII.1996, 1 ♀, 1 ♂; Yarhisar, 16.XI.1996, 2 ♀♀, 13 ♂♂; 17.III.1997, 4 ♀♀, 60 ♂♂; Niğde (Gölcük): Konaklı, 17.XI.1996, 1 ♂; Altınhisar: Keçikalesi, 25.XII.1996, 4 ♂♂; Bor (Kemerhisar): Gökbez, 17.XII.1996, 1 ♀, 3 ♂♂; Çamardı: Bulduruş Pass, 16.XI.1996, 1 ♀, 6 ♂♂; Bademdere, 17.XII.1996, 3 ♂♂; Sulucaova, 4.XI.1996, 1 ♂; 8.I.1997, 1 ♂; Çiftlik: Azatlı, 16.II.1997, 4 ♀♀; 5.III.1997, 1 ♂; Murtaza, 25.XII.1996, 3 ♂♂; Ulukışla: Başmakçı, 1.I.1997, 3 ♂♂.

Haemaphysalis (Aboimisalis) punctata Canestrini et Fanzago, 1877

Localities and number of specimens [112]: Niğde (centrum): Kayaardı vicinity, 17.IV.1996, 1 ♀; Sarıova vicinity, 30.X.1996, 8 ♀♀; 20.III.1997, 7 ♀♀, 1 ♂; Çavdarlı, 17.III.1997, 2 ♀♀, 2 ♂♂; Dündarlı, 21.III.1997, 7 ♀♀, 1 ♂; Edikli, 16.XII.1996, 1 ♂; 31.III.1997, 22 ♀♀; Elmalı, 28.III.1997, 2 ♀♀; Hacı Abdullah, 12.III.1997, 1 ♀; Hançerli, 8.I.1997, 1 ♀; Himmetli, 17.III.1997, 8 ♀♀, 4 ♂♂; 18.III.1997, 25 ♀♀; Niğde (Gölcük): Bağlama, 25.XII.1996, 1 ♀; Bor: Balcı, 28.IX.1996, 1 ♀; Tepeköy, 16.XII.1996, 1 ♀; Çamardı, Celâller, 1.I.1997, 1 ♂; Çiftlik: Azatlı, 5.III.1997, 6 ♀♀, 4 ♂♂; Murtaza, 25.XII.1996, 1 ♀, 4 ♂♂.

Haemaphysalis (Herpetobia) sulcata (Canestrini et Fanzago, 1877)

Localities and number of specimens [256]: Niğde (Central District): around the cement factory, 26.X.1996, 1 ♀; Sarıova, 24.XI.1996, 10 ♂♂; 20.III.1997, 46 ♀♀; abattoir (unknown origin) 13.XI.1996, 1 ♂; ibid. (transferred from Sulucaova), 4.XI.1996, 1 ♂; ibid. (transferred from Yeşilhisar-Kayseri), 24.XI.1996, 3 ♂♂; Yörük Quarter (transferred from Üçkapılı-Çamardı), 29.XII.1996, 1 ♀, 3 ♂♂; Çavdarlı, 17.III.1997, 2 ♀♀, 16 ♂♂; Dündarlı, 21.III.1997, 1 ♀; Edikli, 21.III.1997, 51 ♀♀; 31.III.1997, 9 ♀♀; Elmalı, 10.I.1997, 3 ♂♂; Hançerli, 8.I.1997, 1 ♂; Himmetli, 17.III.1997, 14 ♂♂; 18.III.1997, 45 ♀♀; Sazlıca, 10.III.1997, 1 ♂; Tepeköy, 16.XII.1996, 2 ♀♀, 1 ♂; Yarhisar, 16.XI.1996, 1 ♀; 17.III.1997, 3 ♀♀; Altınhisar (centrum), 1.I.1997, 2 ♀♀; Keçikalesi, 25.XII.1996, 1 ♂; Bor (Kemerhisar), 17.IX.1996, 1 ♀; 25.XII.1996, 1 ♀; Çamardı: Bademdere, 17.XII.1996, 1 ♀; Bulduruş Pass, 16.XI.1996, 4 ♀♀, 1 ♂; Celâller, 1.I.1997, 1 ♂; Sulucaova, 8.I.1997, 2 ♂♂; Üçkapılı, 17.XII.1996, 1 ♂; 1.I.1997, 1 ♀; Çiftlik: Azatlı, 5.III.1997, 1 ♀, 9 ♂♂; Murtaza, 25.XII.1996, 12 ♂♂; Ulukışla (centrum), 25.XII.1996, 1 ♂; Ovacık, 1.I.1997, 1 ♀.

Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus annulatus (Say, 1921)

Localities and number of specimens [4]: Niğde (centrum): Sarıova vicinity, 30.X.1996, 2 ♀♀, 2 ♂♂.

Discussion

Oytun (1947), Kurtpınar (1954) and Merdivenci (1969) recorded Ornithodoros (Alveonasus) lahorensis from many provinces of Turkey, including Niğde. According to Bursalı et al. (2012), it is  common throughout Turkey. Merdivenci (1969) noted that this tick was found from November-December to January-February (sometimes March). In this study, we observed that its presence in sheep from mid-December to mid-March.

Merdivenci (1969) reported that Dermacentor (Serdjukovia) marginatus was seen in all climate zones of Turkey including Niğde. Taşçı (1989) stated that this species is found in the spring and summer in Van Province. During our studies, unlike Taşçı (1989) this species was observed between November and March.

Kurtpınar (1954) gave the first record of D. (S) niveus from Turkey with Burdur specimens among ticks collected by provincial veterinary offices. Although Oytun (1947) reported that the species is unique to horse and very rare; Özkan (1978) obtained many examples from Erzurum and seven of other provinces. This tick was recorded here for the first time from Niğde. It was not very rare as Oytun (1947) reported, since it constituted 7.3% of the total number of samples.

Species of the genus Haemaphysalis were the most common ticks in our study area. It constituted 73.2% of the total number of samples, and five species in five subgenera were found on sheep in Niğde. Although Taşçı (1989) reported that Haemaphysalis species are found only in winter in the Van region, this study recorded it during the sampling period. Merdivenci (1969) stated that H. concinna could be found in all areas of Turkey, including Niğde; however, Bursalı et al. (2012) reported that its distributional ranges limited only to the Black Sea, Mediterranean, and Eastern Anatolia regions.

H. parva is distributed in India, Sri Lanka, and Iran, and it was redescribed by Hoogstraal and Trapido (1963) under the name of H. intermedia. The species was found in domestic animals in Çankırı, Samsun, Malatya and some eastern provinces (Güler et al. 1993). Another tick species, H. otophila, was reported in all climatic regions of Turkey (Merdivenci 1969). However, all of these records belonged to H. parva, because of H. otophila is considered to be the synonym of H. parva (cf. Hosseini-Chegeni et al. 2014). In addition, it was concluded that Mimioğlu (1954)'s records of H. sulcata from Niğde belonged to H. parva due to our comparisons.

H. punctata was recorded under H. cinnaberina punctata in previous studies (Senevet 1937, Oytun 1947, Kurtpınar 1954, Mimioğlu 1954). According to Merdivenci (1969), this species is seen in all climatic regions of Turkey during the winter period. In the present study, it was found from the end of September to the mid-April. On the other hand, H. sulcata cited as H. cholodkowski in older studies (Oytun 1947, Kurtpınar 1954, Mimioğlu 1954), it is seen in all climatic regions of Turkey (Merdivenci 1969). This tick was the most common species in this study. Bursalı et al. (2012) has similar results and they stated that the most prevalent Haemaphysalis species in Anatolia were H. parva, H. punctata and H. sulcata.

Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus was recorded from Konya and Adana by Oytun (1947) as Margaropus calcaratus. Kurtpınar (1954) gave it under the name of Boophilus calcaratus and he reported that this tick was found mainly on cattle in many province of Turkey, including Niğde. Parrish (1961) seperated samples of the genus Boophilus from Turkey into two species as B. annulatus and B. calcaratus. Özkan (1978) identified two form for the samples of B. annulatus collected on cattles from some provinces in Eastern Anatolian as the subspecies B. a. annulatus and B. a. calcaratus. In a comparison with the findings of Özkan (1978), it was concluded that our samples from Niğde can be included in the subspecies B. a. annulatus with respect to the setae, adanal plates and color of the scutum in males and the color of scutum, shapes of the poros areas and stigma in females. However, it was given here as Rh. annulatus annulatus, since Horak et al. (2002) included the genus Boophilus into the genus Rhipicephalus. Similarly, Guglielmone et al. (2010) classified the former genus Boophilus with five species as a subgenusunder the genus Rhipicephalus with 82 speces and also they noted that the genus Boophilus was still considered valid by some authors.

Conclusion

Most studies on Turkey's tick fauna were published before 1980. A significant number of publications related to ticks are made mostly in terms of veterinary medicine and diseases. However, during the 2002-2010 period, when the CCHF outbreak was intense, the orientation towards faunistic and systematic studies started again. According to the most recent data, 53 tick species are known in our country list. The number of species is likely to increase with the studies to be carried out. As in the present study, new studies are important for revealing existing species' distribution, at least when animal movements are more in this century.

Acknowledgments

 This study is based on the MSc thesis of the author. I would like to thank my supervisor Emeritus Prof. Dr. Mehmet Çakır and Emeritus Prof. Dr. Veysel Aysel, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Karataş, and Nizamettin Yavuz, for their contributions and assistance. I remember the Late Vet. Hasan Hüseyin Varol, who was the former manager of the Animal Health Branch of Niğde Agriculture Provincial Directorate and helped in the fieldwork, with mercy and thanks. No funding was used for this study. It has also been declared that there is no conflict of interest.

 

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