Arthropod parasites of impalas in the Kruger national park with particular reference to ticks

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1995
Authors:I. G. Horak, Fourie, L. J., van Zyl, J. M.
Journal:South African Journal of Wildlife Research
Pagination:123 - 126
Date Published:1995
Keywords:amblyomma, animals, antelope, arthropod, cattle, ectoparasite, host, impala, ixodidae, lice, northern, parasite, South Africa, ticks, Transvaal, wild

Adult male and female impalas Aepyceros melampus were examined for ectoparasites at monthly intervals for a period of 17 and 15 months, respectively, at Skukuza and north of Malelane in the southern Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga, South Africa. A total of 34 male and 31 female impalas were examined and Boophilus decoloratus was the most abundant and prevalent ixodid tick collected. In addition to this tick of which both the mean immature and adult burdens were large, the impalas also harboured large numbers of immature and few adult ticks of other species. Comparisons were also made between male and female animals and between the two localities for the six major tick species and four louse species collected. Male animals from north of Malelane harboured significantly more (p<0.05) adult Rhipicephalus appendiculatus than did females from the same locality, which in turn harboured significantly more Damalinia aepycerus than the males. There were no differences in the tick and lice burdens between male and female impalas examined around Skukuza. Significantly more (p<0.05) Amblyomma hebraeum immatures, Amblyomma marmoreum larvae, Damalinia elongata nymphs and adults and D. aepycerus nymphs, and significantly fewer (p<0.05) Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi immatures and R. appendiculatus nymphs were collected from impalas around Skukuza than from those examined north of Malelane. In addition the life stage compositions of populations of various ixodid tick species were compared on impalas, kudus, nyalas and cattle from several localities. With few exceptions the cattle harboured greater percentages of adult A. hebraeum, R. appendiculatus and R. evertsi evertsi than did the antelopes, which conversely harboured greater percentages of immature ticks.

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