Parasitisation and localisation of ticks (Acari: Ixodida) on exotic reptiles imported into Poland.

Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Parasitology, Institute of Biology, Pedagogical University of Cracow, Poland. mnowak@up.krakow.pl
Ann Agric Environ Med 2010;17(2):237–242
As a result of examinations, the following species of ticks have been found parasitising on Python regius brought from Africa to Poland: Amblyomma latum, Amblyomma transversale, Amblyomma spp., on Varanus exanthematicus: Amblyomma exornatum, Amblyomma flavomaculatum, Amblyomma latum, Amblyomma nuttalli, Amblyomma spp., on Varanus salvator brought from Indonesia to Poland: Amblyomma varanensis. There were 58 specimens of monitor lizard (V. salvator and V. exanthematicus) and 92 specimens of python (P. regius) examined, with the selected locations of parasitisation by the ticks on the host`s body described in detail. Among the 434 specimens of tick collected from the monitor lizards, the majority parasitised the host`s limbs (40.5%), on the trunk (29.3%), the head (20.3%), and least on the tail (9.9%). There were 430 tick specimens collected from the bodies of the pythons. They chiefly parasitised the whole length of the back (54.4%) and on the abdominal side of the trunk (29.8%), less numerously in the neighbourhood of the cloaca (5.6%), around the eyes (3.7%), in the nasal openings (0.9%) and the remaining parts of the head (5.6%). Examination of the ticks` location on the reptiles` bodies enabled us to discover the specific parasitisation locations of ticks along the entire length of the host`s body. Knowledge of the ticks` location on the bodies of specific reptile species, particularly at a time when the import of exotic animals is growing all over the world, will help in drawing up methods of fighting the parasites, and may give valuable clues to veterinary services and private breeders.