A cross-sectional study was conducted from September 2009 to March 2010 in and around Haramaya town to determine the species composition, prevalence and seasonal variation of ixodid cattle ticks. During the study period, a total of 3117 adult ixodid cattle ticks were collected from the half body regions of 346 local breeds of cattle which were under extensive management system during early dry and early wet periods and then identified to genera and species level. Six tick species of four genera were identified in which two species each belongs to the genus Amblyomma and Rhipicephalus and one species each belong to the genus Hyalomma and Boophilus. Of the total tick collected, Amblyomma, Boophilus, Rhipicephalus and Hyalomma constitutes (65, 26.3, 10.9 and 7.8%), respectively. The prevalence of tick species were Amblyomma varigatum (41%) Boophilus decoloratus (26.3%), Amblyomma coherence (14.9%), Hyalomma rufipes (7.8%) and Rhipicephalus evertsi (5.5%) and Rhipicephalus pulchellus (5.4%). The present study reveals that A. varigatum was the most abundant cattle tick species in and around Haramaya town and while the R. pulchelusis the least abundant. There was no statistical significance difference (P> 0.05) in tick infestation between sex of cattle’s but tick infestation was significantly (P< 0.05) higher in adult age groups of cattle compared to caves. The favorable predilection sites of Amblyomma species were ano-vulva, udder/scrotum, but B. decoloratus preferred dewlap, perineum and udder/scrotum. The sex ratio of all tick species identified during this study period was skewed towards male except for B. decoloratus. The present study on tick species composition and seasonal variability contributes its part on how to design control strategies for ticks and tick borne diseases in the study area.
Key words: Ixodid cattle tick, seasonal variation, tick species composition, prevalence, Haramaya.
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