Tick infestation on wild snakes in northern part of Western Ghats of India.

Published in Journal of Medical Entomology, 2011

Recommended citation: Pranav Pandit, Ruta Bandivdekar, Geevarghese Geevarghese, Satish Pande, and Omkar Mandke. "Tick infestation on wild snakes in northern part of Western Ghats of India." Journal of Medical Entomology 48, no. 3 (2011): 504-507. https://academic.oup.com/jme/article/48/3/504/882162


In total, 167 individuals of 30 species of snakes belonging to 22 genera and five families were examined for tick infestation from November 2008 to March 2010. Only two species of snakes, Ptyas mucosa (L., 1758) (Indian rat snake) and Naja naja (L., 1758) (spectacled cobra), were found infested by ticks. All ticks collected were identified to be Amblyomma gervaisi (previously Aponomma) gervaisi (Lucas, 1847) 1. The average prevalence of these ticks on Indian rat snakes (n=48) was 29.16%, with abundance of 7.02 ticks per individual; on spectacled cobras (n=20), average prevalence was 30.00%, with abundance of 6.9 ticks per individual. The nymphs and males were predominant. All the ticks were found on the dorsal aspect of the body of the snake, and no ticks were recorded on the head, tail, or ventral body. The rate of tick infestation was highest in scrubland and was lowest in evergreen forests. Female Indian rat snakes showed higher tick infestation rates than male Indian rat snakes. Using Mann-Whitney U test, we found that longer snakes of both species had significantly higher rate of tick infestation in both the species of snakes.

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