Relations of the imago of Ixodes persulcatus (Schulze, 1930) and large mammals in natural biogeocenoses of the Northern Urals of Russia


The active role of ticks Ixodes persulcatus in the reservation and transmission of many dangerous diseases for humans and animals requires knowledge of the relationship of adults of this type of parasite with animals that feed tick populations in a specific area. The objective of the research was to study the composition of the hosts of adult Ixodes persulcatus living in the Northern Urals of Russia and to determine their significance in the life of these parasites. The study was carried out from April to October throughout 2001 to 2015 in subtaiga and forest-steppe climatic zones of the Northern Urals of Russia. During the observation period, 5416 heads of animals were examined, including 5218 farm animals, 157 domestic animals, and 41 representatives of the wild fauna which had 14,010 adult ticks removed therefrom, 6,708 of which are Ixodes persulcatus. It has been established that interspecific relations of ixodid ticks are close with all animals living in their biomes. In the taiga-forest zone, where I. persulcatus prevails, all large animals participate in its feeding, and a particularly close interaction is established with wild animals living throughout their habitat: the dominance of the taiga tick in some animals reaches 100%. Farm animals are also involved in the feeding of I. persulcatus, but since their grazing sites, for the most part, are confined to natural pastures, these animals actively feed the ticks of the genus Dermacentor. In the forest-steppe zone, the species ratio of adult ixodid ticks depends on the ethology and location of the food supply of animals participating in feeding. Thus, cattle, which prevails among the animals examined by us and whose food base is located on dry pastures, feeds a significant amount of ixodids, while I. persulcatus (ID - 43.9%) is just subdominant, giving way to ticks of the genus Dermacentor. Wild animals in this zone are most closely associated with the taiga tick I. persulcatus, which is explained by the coincidence of their preferences in settlement, although such domestic animals as dogs and horses also actively feed the adult taiga tick, which perhaps relates to their behavior.


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