Ticks parasitizing bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) in the Caatinga Biome, Brazil

<div><p>Abstract In this paper, the authors report ticks parasitizing bats from the Serra das Almas Natural Reserve (RPPN) located in the municipality of Crateús, state of Ceará, in the semiarid Caatinga biome of northeastern Brazil. The study was carried out during nine nights in the dry season (July 2012) and 10 nights in the rainy season (February 2013). Only bats of the Phyllostomidae and Mormoopidae families were parasitized by ticks. The species Artibeus planirostris and Carolia perspicillata were the most parasitized. A total of 409 larvae were collected and classified into three genera: Antricola (n = 1), Nothoaspis (n = 1) and Ornithodoros (n = 407). Four species were morphologically identified as Nothoaspis amazoniensis, Ornithodoros cavernicolous, Ornithodoros fonsecai, Ornithodoros hasei, and Ornithodoros marinkellei. Ornithodoros hasei was the most common tick associated with bats in the current study. The present study expand the distributional ranges of at least three soft ticks into the Caatinga biome, and highlight an unexpected richness of argasid ticks inhabiting this arid ecosystem.</p></div>