|Genetic diversity of ixodid ticks parasitizing eastern mouse and dwarf lemurs in Madagascar, with descriptions of the larva, nymph and male of Ixodes lemuris (Acari: Ixodidae).
|Year of Publication
|Blanco M B, Elfawal MA, Durden LA, Beati L, Xu G, Godfrey LR, Rich SM
|2012 Aug 27
Abstract The ixodid ticks parasitizing small-bodied nocturnal mouse and dwarf lemurs (Primates, Cheirogaleidae) in Madagascar are poorly documented. At Tsinjoarivo, a high-altitude eastern rainforest, mouse and dwarf lemurs were parasitized by ticks of the genus Ixodes. At Ranomafana, a montane southeastern rainforest, dwarf lemurs hosted ticks of the genus Ixodes, whereas mouse lemurs were parasitized by ticks of the genus Haemaphysalis. Our Ixodes specimens represent all active stages and females are morphologically consistent with previous descriptions of Ixodes lemuris females, the only described stage in the literature. Morphological comparisons and genetic analysis using fragments of COI gene confirm all Ixodes ticks from Tsinjoarivo and Ranomafana forests belong to the same species, i.e., Ixodes lemuris. Thus, we are able to provide descriptions of the previously unknown larva, nymph and male. Mouse lemurs at both locations were parasitized only by immature stages of Ixodes lemuris (at Tsinjoarivo) or Haemaphysalis lemuris (at Ranomafana) whereas dwarf lemurs were parasitized by all stages of Ixodes lemuris. We suggest that ecological and biogeographical conditions may affect the pattern of tick infestation at Tsinjoarivo and Ranomafana. Additional studies are necessary to understand the tick-host associations of small-bodied nocturnal lemurs.