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      A new argasid tick species (Acari: Argasidae) associated with the rock cavy, Kerodon rupestris Wied-Neuwied (Rodentia: Caviidae), in a semiarid region of Brazil

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          The rock cavy Kerodon rupestris (Wied-Neuwied, 1820) is a rodent species endemic to northeastern Brazil. Earlier studies have associated the argasid tick Ornithodoros talaje (Guérin-Méneville, 1849) with rocky cavy; however, a recent study proposed that O. talaje is not established in Brazil, where previous reports of this species were possibly misidentifications of closely related species, yet to be properly determined. Here, we describe a new species of Ornithodoros Koch, 1844 associated with rock cavies in northeastern Brazil .


          During 2012–2013, Ornithodoros ticks were collected from K. rupestris resting places in Paraíba State (PB) and Piauí State (PI), northeastern Brazil. These ticks were brought alive to the laboratory, and used to form two laboratory colonies (PB and PI ticks). Field-collected adults and laboratory-reared larvae were used for morphological description through light and scanning electron microscopy. DNA sequences of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene were generated from nymphal ticks and used to conduct phylogenetic analyses along with other Ornithodoros spp. sequences from GenBank. Reproductive compatibility of crosses between PB and PI adult ticks was evaluated, as well as analyses of hybrid ticks through larval morphology by a principal components analysis (PCA) and DNA sequences of the second internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) region from adult ticks.


          Morphological analysis allowed recognizing these ticks as a new species, Ornithodoros rietcorreai n. sp. The larva of O. rietcorreai is distinct from those of other Ornithodoros spp. by the combination of the following character states: 14 pairs of dorsal setae, dorsal plate pyriform, hypostome with pointed apex and dental formula 3/3 anteriorly, 2/2 posteriorly, and anal valves with long and pointed leaf-shaped ends. There were a few larval morphological differences between PB and PI ticks , and their mitochondrial 16S rDNA sequences diverged by 3.3 %. On the other hand, cross-mating experiments showed that PB and PI ticks were reproductive compatible, indicating that they represent a single species. Analyses of ITS2 sequences and PCA corroborated this assumption.


          Ornithodoros rietcorreai is described as a new species associated with K. rupestris in Brazil, increasing the Brazilian tick fauna to 70 species.

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          Mitochondrial 16S rDNA sequences and phylogenetic relationships of species of Rhipicephalus and other tick genera among Metastriata (Acari: Ixodidae).

          The mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene sequences of the following eight European Metastriata tick species were obtained by direct polymerase-chain-reaction cycle sequencing and silver-staining methods: Rhipicephalus bursa, R. pusillus, R. sanguineus, R. turanicus, Boophilus annulatus, Dermacentor marginatus, Haemaphysalis punctata, and Hyalomma lusitanicum. This mitochondrial gene seems to be a good marker for the establishment of genetic relationships among closely related tick species, but it does not seem to be useful for comparisons of distantly related taxa. The molecular data provide very strong support for the monophyly of the Rhipicephalinae, including Hyalomma spp. However, the genus Rhipicephalus may not be considered a monophyletic group; in all analyses carried out in this study, R. bursa clustered with Boophilus spp. The high percentage of similarity (98.7%) observed between R. sanguineus and R. turanicus sequences would suggest that these species recently diverged within the Rhipicephalus genus. Phylogenetic analyses showed a monophyletic relationship among Amblyomminae taxa. The relationships between Haemaphysalis species and the true placement of this genus within Metastriata could not be resolved.
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            Geographical distribution of Amblyomma cajennense (sensu lato) ticks (Parasitiformes: Ixodidae) in Brazil, with description of the nymph of A. cajennense (sensu stricto)

            Background Until recently, Amblyomma cajennense (Fabricius, 1787) was considered to represent a single tick species in the New World. Recent studies have split this taxon into six species. While the A. cajennense species complex or A. cajennense (sensu lato) (s.l.) is currently represented by two species in Brazil, A. cajennense (sensu stricto) (s.s.) and Amblyomma sculptum Berlese, 1888, their geographical distribution is poorly known. Methods The distribution of the A. cajennense (s.l.) in Brazil was determined by morphological examination of all lots of A. cajennense (s.l.) in two large tick collections of Brazil, and by collecting new material during three field expeditions in the possible transition areas between the distribution ranges of A. cajennense (s.s.) and A. sculptum. Phylogenetic analysis inferred from the ITS2 rRNA gene was used to validate morphological results. Morphological description of the nymphal stage of A. cajennense (s.s.) is provided based on laboratory-reared specimens. Results From the tick collections, a total 12,512 adult ticks were examined and identified as 312 A. cajennense (s.s.), 6,252 A. sculptum and 5,948 A. cajennense (s.l.). A total of 1,746 ticks from 77 localities were collected during field expeditions, and were identified as 249 A. cajennense (s.s.), 443 A. sculptum, and 1,054 A. cajennense (s.l.) [these A. cajennense (s.l.) ticks were considered to be males of either A. cajennense (s.s.) or A. sculptum]. At least 23 localities contained the presence of both A. cajennense (s.s.) and A. sculptum in sympatry. DNA sequences of the ITS2 gene of 50 ticks from 30 localities confirmed the results of the morphological analyses. The nymph of A. cajennense (s.s.) is morphologically very similar to A. sculptum. Conclusion Our results confirmed that A. cajennense (s.l.) is currently represented in Brazil by only two species, A. cajennense (s.s.) and A. sculptum. While these species have distinct distribution areas in the country, they are found in sympatry in some transition areas. The current distribution of A. cajennense (s.l.) has important implications to public health, since in Brazil A. sculptum is the most important vector of the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii, the etiological agent of Brazilian spotted fever. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13071-016-1460-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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              Amblyomma cajennense (Fabricius, 1787) (Acari: Ixodidae), the Cayenne tick: phylogeography and evidence for allopatric speciation

              Background Amblyomma cajennense F. is one of the best known and studied ticks in the New World because of its very wide distribution, its economical importance as pest of domestic ungulates, and its association with a variety of animal and human pathogens. Recent observations, however, have challenged the taxonomic status of this tick and indicated that intraspecific cryptic speciation might be occurring. In the present study, we investigate the evolutionary and demographic history of this tick and examine its genetic structure based on the analyses of three mitochondrial (12SrDNA, d-loop, and COII) and one nuclear (ITS2) genes. Because A. cajennense is characterized by a typical trans-Amazonian distribution, lineage divergence dating is also performed to establish whether genetic diversity can be linked to dated vicariant events which shaped the topology of the Neotropics. Results Total evidence analyses of the concatenated mtDNA and nuclear + mtDNA datasets resulted in well-resolved and fully congruent reconstructions of the relationships within A. cajennense. The phylogenetic analyses consistently found A. cajennense to be monophyletic and to be separated into six genetic units defined by mutually exclusive haplotype compositions and habitat associations. Also, genetic divergence values showed that these lineages are as distinct from each other as recognized separate species of the same genus. The six clades are deeply split and node dating indicates that they started diverging in the middle-late Miocene. Conclusions Behavioral differences and the results of laboratory cross-breeding experiments had already indicated that A. cajennense might be a complex of distinct taxonomic units. The combined and congruent mitochondrial and nuclear genetic evidence from this study reveals that A. cajennense is an assembly of six distinct species which have evolved separately from each other since at least 13.2 million years ago (Mya) in the earliest and 3.3 Mya in the latest lineages. The temporal and spatial diversification modes of the six lineages overlap the phylogeographical history of other organisms with similar extant trans-Amazonian distributions and are consistent with the present prevailing hypothesis that Neotropical diversity often finds its origins in the Miocene, after the Andean uplift changed the topology and consequently the climate and ecology of the Neotropics.

                Author and article information

                [1 ]Departamento de Medicina Veterinária Preventiva e Saúde Animal, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Prof. Orlando Marques de Paiva 87, São Paulo, 05508-270 Brazil
                [2 ]Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, Estación Experimental Agropecuaria Rafaela and Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, CC 22, CP 2300 Rafaela, Santa Fe Argentina
                [3 ]Universidade de Santo Amaro, R. Prof. Enéas de Siqueira Neto 340, São Paulo, 04829-300 Brazil
                [4 ]Instituto Latino-Americano de Ciências da Vida e da Natureza, Universidade Federal da Integração Latino-Americana, Av. Tarquínio Joslin dos Santos 1000, Foz do Iguaçu, Paraná 85870-901 Brazil
                [5 ]Universidade Federal do Vale do São Francisco, Campus de Ciências Agrárias, Rodovia BR 407, Km 12, Lote 543 - Projeto de Irrigação Senador Nilo Coelho, s/n, Petrolina, Pernambuco 56300-990 Brazil
                [6 ]Laboratorio de Vectores y Enfermedades Transmitidas, Facultad de Veterinaria, CENUR Litoral Norte, Salto, Universidad de la República, Rivera 1350, CP 50000 Salto, Uruguay
                Parasit Vectors
                Parasit Vectors
                Parasites & Vectors
                BioMed Central (London )
                21 September 2016
                21 September 2016
                : 9
                © The Author(s). 2016

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Funded by: FundRef, Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo;
                Award ID: 2009/53193-5
                Funded by: FundRef, Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior;
                Award ID: CAPES/PROEX 2327/2015
                Funded by: FundRef, Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico;
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                © The Author(s) 2016


                ornithodoros rietcorreai, kerodon rupestris, morphology, mitochondrial 16s rdna, its2


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