Discovery of Dermacentor reticulatus (Acari: Amblyommidae) populations in the Lubuskie Province (Western Poland)

Magdalena Nowak
Experimental & Applied Acarology 2011, 54 (2): 191-7
The distribution of the meadow tick, Dermacentor reticulatus (Fabricius) is divided into two separate areas-Western Europe and Eastern (Russian). The break in distribution of this species falls in Poland, as well as other sites. The populations of D. reticulatus in Poland, which have been confirmed by collecting ticks from vegetation, are located in the north-eastern and western parts of the country, although there are also reports of D. reticulatus occurring on hosts in several parts of Poland which have not been confirmed by collecting ticks from vegetation. Until this research was carried out, the view was that this species does not occur in the western part of Poland in the area between the Vistula and Oder rivers. In the site surveys conducted in the Lubuskie Province (western part of Poland around the city of Zielona Góra, about 55 km from the Polish-German border), during the springtime activity peak for adult stages looking for hosts, seven natural implantations of D. reticulatus were discovered where 208 tick specimens were collected by flagging. These were exclusively adult stages, including 127 females and 81 males. Because of the distance (around 350 km) from the nearest focus in Mazuria in North-eastern Poland, the populations discovered have been named the D. reticulatus "Lubuskie Focus". The research proves for the first time that D. reticulatus occurs in Western Poland. The research indicates that D. reticulatus is the second most important tick in Poland, after Ixodes ricinus (L.), which is epidemiologically very important, especially as a parasite on dogs and cattle. The proliferation of the meadow tick in Central Europe is inseparably linked with the expansion of canine babesiosis.

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