AMBLYOMMA Koch, 1844
This genus is the third largest in the family Ixodidae, with its species
primarily occupying the torrid zones of all the continents. The centre of species
diversity is on the American continent, where half of all the species occur. On
this continent, Amblyomma species reach far beyond the torrid zone, up
to the 40th parallel in the northern hemisphere, to the 50th parallel in the
southern hemisphere, and even reaches the alpine zone of the Andes. This genus
also occupies adjacent islands (the Antilles and Galapagos), where it produces
endemic forms. An extremely wide range of hosts is characteristic of the genus.
Amblyomma ticks parasitize members of all classes of land vertebrates
(Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves, and Mammalia). Almost one third of the species
parasitize various reptiles (tortoises, lizards, and snakes), and even sea
snakes are among their hosts. One species (A. sparsum) has an unusual
combination of hosts: rhinoceros and tortoises.
Some species of Amblyomma may be extremely abundant and harmful
to animal husbandry. A few members of this genus can be vectors of various
human and animal diseases. These members include A. variegatum, A. hebraeum,
A. cajennense, and A. americanum, among others.
1. Amblyomma albolimbatum Neumann, 1907
Australia (West Australia and
Principal hosts of all stages are
lizards, but mainly the skink Trachydosaurus rugosus. Ticks are also found
Literature: Roberts (1970), Smyth
2. Amblyomma albopictum Neumann, 1899
Cuba and Haiti Islands, Honduras
(Suon Island) and Costa Rica.
Species parasitize the iguanas Cyclura
macleayi, C. cornuta, and Leiocephalus carinatus, but have
also been found on the boa Epicrates angulifer. All stages were found on
their animal hosts.
Literature: Guglielmone et al. (2003a), Voltzit (2007).
3. Amblyomma americanum (Linnaeus, 1758)
Mexico (Coahuila, Nuevo
Léon, Tamaulipas), in the USA as far north as New York and Iowa, and as
far west as Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Occurs in forests and scrubs.
All stages feed on a wide range
of large and middle-sized mammals, including both wild and domestic animals.
Immature ticks are often found on birds (turkeys and quails) and squirrels.
Foxes and raccoons are often heavily infested with ticks, but the preferable
host for all stages is the white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus. All
stages may attack humans.
The life cycle for this species is two years. In Oklahoma, females of this tick
parasitize livestock from March to July with maximum infestation in April to
June. Males are found on hosts all year round.
This is one of the most harmful
ticks to animal husbandry in the USA. It is a vector of tularaemia, Rocky
Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, and theileriosis in white-tailed deer.
Literature: Cooley and Kohls
(1944), McKeon et al. (1982).
4. Amblyomma antillorum Kohls, 1969
Islands of West Indies: Anegada,
Dominica, and Caicos.
All stages parasitize iguanas Iguana
pinguis, I. delicatissima, and I. carinata.
Literature: Keirans (1985),
Guglielmone et al. (2003a), Voltzit (2007).
5. Amblyomma argentinae Neumann, 1904
Amblyomma testudinis (Conil,
Argentina (Formosa, Cordoba,
Catamarca, and Santiago del Estero).
Specific parasite of the tortoise
Chelonoides (Testudo) chilensis. All stages have been described.
et al. (1993), Guglielmone et al. (2001), Acuña et al. (2003), Guglielmone et al. (2003a).
6. Amblyomma astrion Donitz, 1909
Central African Republic, Zaire,
Congo, Angola, São Tomé, and Príncipe.
Principal host of imago is the
buffalo Syncerus caffer, but ticks have also been found on domestic
livestock. Solitary larvae and nymphs have been collected on buffaloes, cattle,
and a dog. It is a vector of cowdriosis.
Literature: Theiler (1962), Elbl
and Anastos (1966), Volzit and Keirans (2004), Walker and Olwage (1987).
7. Amblyomma aureolatum (Pallas, 1772)
Amblyomma striatum Koch, 1844
Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, Sao
Paulo, Parana, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul), Paraguay, Uruguay,
Argentina (Misiones, Entre Rios, and Chaco), Surinam (?), and Guyana (?).