Seasonal abundance of adult ixodid ticks infesting cattle belonging to resource-limited farmers in the north-eastern Free State Province of South Africa

M Hlatshwayo, P A Mbati, O O Dipeolu
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research 2002, 69 (1): 1-6
A study was undertaken to determine the seasonal abundance of the ticks infesting cattle owned by resource-limited farmers in the north-eastern Free State Province of South Africa. Infestations of Boophilus decoloratus Koch, 1844, Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi Neumann, 1897, Rhipicephalus follis Donitz, 1910, Rhipicephalus gertrudae Feldman-Muhsam, 1960 and Rhipicephalus warburtoni Walker & Horak, 2000, were monitored on cattle of mixed breeds at monthly intervals from May 1998 to April 1999. High tick intensity on the cattle was observed between March and June, with a peak in May to June 1998 for B. decoloratus and R. evertsi evertsi. Few ticks from the other three species were recovered from the cattle. Small peaks in November to December 1998 for R. warburtoni, and in December 1998 for R. follis and R. gertrudae were observed. Following the winter (June to August), numbers of B. decoloratus declined markedly, while those of R. evertsi evertsi and other rhipicephalids increased. These results represent the first published information on ticks of veterinary importance infesting cattle in the north-eastern part of the Free State Province.

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