Senckenberg Publications

A. Christian

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Axel Christian Senckenberg Museum of Natural History,
P.O.Box 300 154, 02806 Görlitz, Germany;

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Tick infestation (Ixodes) on the Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra) – a longterm study


Abstract

Over a period of 21 years, 541 otters mostly killed on the roads were investigated. Three species of ticks (Ixodes hexagonus,
I. canisuga, I. ricinus) were found to infest the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) in Germany. The most common tick species on the otters was I. hexagonus. The prevalence (= infestation extensity; proportion of infested animals) was 8.8%. The average infestation intensity (number of ticks per infested animal) was 7.9 ticks per infested otter. Two species of ticks were only found on two otters. The highest infestation intensity of I. hexagonus found on one otter was 72 larvae plus 3 nymphs and 2 females. The average infestation intensity by the stages of I. hexagonus was 2.0 females, 4.9 nymphs and 8.3 larvae per infested otter. In Upper Lusatia, Germany, the otter has been proven to be a frequent host for I. hexagonus. The common wood tick, I. ricinus, parasitized on only one otter.

Keywords

ticks, ectoparasites, Ixodes hexagonus, Ixodes ricinus, Otter, Lutra lutra, Germany

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