Ticks parasitizing songbirds in Iran with new host records (Metastigmata: Ixodidae)

Document Type : Research articles


1 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran

2 1-Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran 2-Institute of Applied Zoology, Faculty of Science, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran

3 Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

4 Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran


The present study investigates the occurrence and the identification of tick species infesting wild songbirds in northern Iran. During the period from 2015 to 2016, 342 songbirds belonging to 15 families and 37 species were captured and examined for tick infestation. Of which, 70 specimens were infested by ticks representing a 20.46% infestation rate. Four tick species detached from examined birds and identified as follow: Ixodes ricinus (Linnaeus, 1758), I. lividus Koch, 1844, Hyalomma sp., and Rhipicephalus sp. The most common one was I. ricinus. In all infected birds, collected ticks were in immature stages and the number of specimens of the larval stage was more than in the nymphal stage, and no adult tick was found. Following songbirds were introduced as new hosts: Rock Sparrow Petronia petronia (Linnaeus, 1766), Chestnut-shouldered Petronia Gymnoris xanthocollis (Burton, E, 1838), Eastern Olivaceous Warbler Hippolais pallida (Hemprich & Ehrenberg, 1833), Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra Linnaeus, 1758, Common Mynah Acridotheres tristis (Linnaeus, 1766), Eastern Pied Wheatear Oenanthe picata (Blyth, 1847), Pied Wheatear O. pleschanka (Lepechin, 1770), Desert Finch Rhodospiza obsoleta (Lichtenstein, MHC, 1823), Fire-fronted Serin Serinus pusillus (Pallas, 1811), and Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva (Bechstein, 1792) for I. ricinus.


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