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A. persicus is now established in most parts of the world between # and 40°S. as a result of transportation of poultry. In 31beria, this tick occurs even farther north than 55°N. (Olenev 1926, 1927). In Argentina, 38°S. is its southern limit (Roveda 13.6%. As an example of the fowl tick's long range spread, it is said to have been introduced into New Zealand from America. Its initial appearance in many parts of the world is believed to have been during early Persian conduests though the species did not necessarily originate in Persia (Robinson and Davidson 1913A).
Once introduced, the fowl tick often spreads quickly and widely, as it has done in Argentina where it became a common pest within sixteen years after first reported (Lahille and Joan 1931, Roveda 1940, Lucas 1940). In the United States, after having first been collected in 1872 in southwestern Texas, its dispersion has been "gradual and orderly" (Parman 1926). In other areas it occurs only sporadically. For instance, in Madagascar, A. Persicus is Baid to be restricted to the western coastal lowlands ent from the central uplands (Bück 1935,1948A,C). In Mauritius it is not common or widely spread and seldom appears in large numbers (Moutia and Mamet 1947).
The following records are for Africa, Arabia, and outlying islands only.
NORTH AFRICA: EGYPT (Savignyi 1826. Audouin 1827. Taschenberg T87."Neumann 1901,1911. Nuttall et al 1908. Hirst 1914. Mason 1916. Carpano 1929A,B,1935. El Dardiry 1945. Said 1948. Fahmy 1952. Hoogstraal 1952A. Floyd and Hoogstraal 1956. Hurlbut 1956. Taylor, Work, Hurlbut, and Rizk 1956). LIBYA (Zanon 1919. Franchini 1926, 1929E. Tonelli-Rondelli 1932A,D. Gaspare 1933. Stella 1938C). TUNISLA (Galli-Valerio 1909A, 1911B, 1914. Comte and Bouquet 1909. Blaizot 1910. Neumann 1911. Langeron 1912, 1921). ALGERIA (Neumann 1901,1911. Brumpt and Foley 1908. Edm. Sergent and Foley 1910, 1922, 1939. Hindle 1912. Robinson and Davidson 1913A. Donatien 1925. Catanei, and Parrot 1926. Foley 1929. Clastrier 1936). MCROCCO (Delanoë 1923. Delanoë and Lelaurin 1923).
WEST AFRICA NIGERIA (Absence of A. persicus: . Macfie and Johnston T9D. Presence of this tick: Mettam 1923). GOID COAST
(Stewart 1933,1934). FRENCH WEST AFRICA (Bouet 1909. Brumpt 1909B. Rousselot. 1951,1953B). A LIBERIA: Absence of A. persicus, Bequaert #29.7 PORTUGESE GUINEA (Tendeiro ####9 1953, 1954).
CENTRAL AFRICA: CAMEROONS (Mohn 1909. Rageau 1953B). BELGLAN CONGO and RUANDALURUNDI (Ghesquiere 1919, 1921A,B,1922, 1928. Schwetz 1927A, B. Bequaert 1930A, B, l931. Gillain l935. Schoenaers 1951A). No records seen from French Equatorial Africa.
EAST AFRICA: SUDAN (Neumann 1901. As A. miniatus: Balfour 1906. Balfour 1906, 1907,1908B, 1909, 1910,191 IA,B,C,D,E,G,1912. Nuttall et al 1908. King 1908,1911, 1921, 1926. Archibald 1923. Tonelli-Rondelli 1930A. de Beaurepaire Aragao 1936. Kirk 1938B. Hoogstraal 1954B).
ETHIOPIA (Neumann 1911). ERITREA (Franchini 1929E. Niro 1935. Stella 1938A, 1939A, 1940. Ferro-Luzzi 1948). BRITISH SOMALLLAND (Drake-Brockman 1913B, 1920. Stella 1940). ITALIAN SOMALILAND (Brumpt 1909A. Paoli 1916. Franchini 1925, 1929E. Niro 1935. Stella 1938A, 1939A, 1940).
KENYA (Anderson 1942A,B. Lewis 1931C,1939A. Piercy 1948. Wiley 1953). UGANDA (Mettam 1932 stated that A. persicus was then not yet reported, but Wilson 1950C lists it as present)." ATTANGANYIKA: ?No records. 7
SOUTHERN AFRICA: ANGOLA (Howard 1908. Absence in San Salvador: Gamble T9DA. Sousa Dias 1950. Bacelar 1950. Santos Dias 1950C). MOZAMBIQUE (Howard 1908,19090,1910. Theiler 1943B. Santos Dias 1953B,1954H).
"RHODESLA" (Robinson and Davidson 1913A). NORTHERN RHODESIA: ?No records. 7 SOUTHERN RHODESLA (Little 1919, 1920. Jack 1921, 1928, 1937,1938,1942. Cooper 1944). NYASALAND (De Meza 1918A. Wilson 1950B).
SOUTHWEST AFRICA (Tromsdorff 1914. Sigwart 1915. Warburton 1921. Mitscherlich 1941. Schulze 1941). BECHUANALAND (As "tampans": "J.G." 1943). UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA (Lounsbury 1895,1899B, C,1900A,B,C,1903B, 1904D. Dönitz 1907C,1910B. Howard 1908,1909C, 1910. Nuttall et al 1908. Bourlay 1909. Jowett 1910. Neumann
1911. Robinson and Davidson 1913A. Bedford 1920, 1926, 1927, 1932B, 1934. Du Plessis 1932. Robinson and Coles. 1932. Bedford and Coles 1933. Bedford and Graf 1934,1939. Männig and Coles 1934, 1936,1939,1940. Coles 1933,1945. Cooley 1934. des Ligneris 1939. Mitscherlich 194l. R. du Toit 1942B,C, 1947A, B. Gericke and Coles 1950. Annecke and Quinn 1952).
OUTLYING ISLANDS: MAURITIUS (As A. mauritianus: GuerinMeneviTreT323-1823." Neumann 1911. De Charmoy ISIZ,1915,1925. Moutia and Mamet 1947). MADAGASCAR (Recorded by Bück 1935,1948A, C, 1949. Millot 1948 states that A. persicus does not occur on Madagascar but Böck seems to £# evidence triat it does. Hoogstraal 1953E). REUNION (Gillard 1947,1949). SEYCHELIES (Miilot 1948). A ZANZIBAR: ?No records. 7
ARABLA: YEMEN (Hoogstraal, ms.).
A. persicus in all stages is chiefly a parasite of chickens. Ducks, geese, turkeys, and infrequently pigeons, are attacked. This parasite often becomes so numerous in fowl houses that the birds die from exsanguination. Canaries are sometimes attacked, and in South Africa young ostrichs have been killed from the volume of blood lost to these ticks.
Wild birds may be infested if they construct large, numerous, or fairly permanent nests in the vicinity of human activities. The question of infestation of other wild birds and of mammals is a most uncertain one. Although the fowl argas does parasitize man on occasion, the frequency and fierceness of these attacks have been fancifully exaggerated and enhanced to the point that it might even seem advisable to exterminate Africa's chickens rather than subject mankind on this continent to the scourge of his fowls" argasid parasite.
Wild bird hosts
Rookeries of the buff-backed heron, Bubulcus ibis ibis, in parks in and near Cairo (Hoogstraal 1952A) and heron rookeries in South Africa are heavily infested (Theiler, correspondence). In the Nile Barrage Park near Cairo, literally tens of thousands of
fowl ticks in all stages can be found in crevices and under bark of any large fig tree in which herons roost and nest.
In Pakistan, Abdussalam and Sarwar (1953) found frequent parasitism of Vultures and common herons in sixteen kinds of trees in which these birds nest. Other birds and palm squirrels also perch in these trees, but only a young kite was found infested. (Whether smaller birds and squirrels were examined for ticks is not clear from the report). On trees with relatively smooth bark and few cracks, ticks extended down the trunk almost to the ground, but on those with cracked bark they concentrated chiefly in the upper branches near the perches of their hosts. (In the Cairo area, rough-barked trees harbor tremendous tick populations from near the roots to the crown). The incidence of ticks in trees harboring vultures and herons was much higher than it was in nearby chicken houses.
Specimens have occasionally been reported from isolated nests of wild birds and on ground birds such as quail. Howard (1908) recorded the secretary bird and Bedford (1934) the guinea fowl as wild hosts. Theiler (unpublished) informs me of the following South African records: wattled crane, hadada ibis, and pelican. King (1926) reported the guinea fowl, buff-backed heron, and crow as wild hosts of the larval stage in the Sudan. Specimens from guinea fowl at Khartoum (SGC) probably came from zoological garden hosts.
Identification of larvae from wild birds that construct isotated nests and that do not live close to human habitations should be regarded with suspicion if these larvae have not been identified by a contemporary expert in argasids. Larvae of related species closely resemble those of A. persicus. Wild bird parasites are so poorly known that the presence of argasid larvae on them should be a hint to consider rare or poorly known tick species before concluding definitely that those found are A. persicus. The mouthparts of larvae pulled from birds are usually #s extreme caution is exercised and the body characters are frequently obscured by engorgement so that it is difficult to identify the material.
Wild Mammal Hosts
wild mammal is a note of three adults from a Texas jack rabbit shot in 1906 (Hooker, Bishopp, and Wood 1912).
Domestic Mammal Hosts
Howell, Stiles, and Moe (1943) believe that A. persicus may feed on cattle more commonly than is generally suspec reasons for this assumption are not presented. This tick has been vaguely reported from Persian animals (Aluimov 1935) and, on the basis of a museum specimen label, from cattle in the Congo (Schwetz 1927B). Hoffman (1930), apparently from personal information, stated that in Mexico A. persicus may bite animals and man in the absence of fowls. In the Uni Provinces of India, Sen (1938) listed this species "off dog". Various workers have reported that they were unable to induce the fowl argas to feed on laboratory or domestic animals, or, if some blood was taken, the meal was only a partial one.
Authentic records of A. Persicus attacking man in almost all instances stress the infrequency of such experiences. Reports in certain textbooks of medical entomology that the fowl tick is an important pest of man or even "a veritable scourge ....... in the Sudan and South Africa" (1) are without the slightest foundation (see below).
In the Sudan, King (1926) reported, A. persicus rarely bites man. Several nymphs and adults in Sudan Government collections are labelled "from Yemenese man, Suakin, 7-3-09, O. Atkey". The inference is that the specimens were taken on the person. The numerous Kosti specimens already mentioned in Sudan records arouse suspicion that this species have been a pest in houses there at one time. My own inquiries in many parts of the Sudan and from reading a considerable number of travel, medical, and natural history reports of the Sudan have failed to reveal any indication that A. Persicus is known as a human pest anywhere in the Sudan.
In South Africa, Bedford (1934) wrote, A. persicus seldom attacks man. Lounsbury (1900C,1903B) recorded a severe bite on a person in Graaff-Reinert, and stated that he had heard of two other persons who were bitten, but, especially in the former paper, he minimized the importance of A. persicus as a pest of people, as did Behr (1899) for California. "Howard (1909C), however, heard of a South African cart that had been stored in an old infested chicken house; "no one was able to ride in it afterwards". In Southern Rhodesia, A. Persicus is pre-eminently a fowl parasite (Jack 1921).