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18 October 2022 Statewide survey of medically important ticks on white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus Zimmerman, in Alabama, U.S.A.
Skyler M. Kerr, Jonathan O. Rayner, R. Ryan Wood, John McCreadie
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Abstract

A statewide survey of the tick fauna found on deer, using harvested deer heads as the sample unit, was conducted during the Alabama hunting seasons of 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. Four species of ticks: Ixodes scapularis (n= 936, % of catch 69.1%), Amblyomma americanum (315, 23.2%), Dermacentor albipictus (97, 7.1%), and Amblyomma maculatum (6, 0.4%) were taken from 151 deer heads harvested from 21 deer processing centers (n = 4-17 heads/processor). A total of 87.7% (prevalence) of deer heads had one or more ticks. We used two standard numerical descriptors of tick numbers, abundance, and relative abundance. No significant stepwise regressions (p > 0.05) were found between tick abundance (all ticks, I. scapularis, A. americanum) and the predictor variables of latitude, deer density, season, and year. In addition, the correlation between the abundance of I. scapularis and A. americanum was not significant (p > 0.5). In contrast, the relative abundance of both I. scapularis and A. americanum showed a significant (P < 0.05) relationship with latitude, with the relative abundance of I. scapularis increasing on deer with increased latitude and A. americanum showing the opposite pattern.

Skyler M. Kerr, Jonathan O. Rayner, R. Ryan Wood, and John McCreadie "Statewide survey of medically important ticks on white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus Zimmerman, in Alabama, U.S.A.," Journal of Vector Ecology 47(2), 210-216, (18 October 2022). https://doi.org/10.52707/1081-1710-47.2.210
Received: 18 July 2022; Accepted: 7 September 2022; Published: 18 October 2022
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KEYWORDS
Alabama
Amblyomma americanum
Ixodes scapularis
white-tailed deer
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