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In cold climates such as Saratov, Russia, development occurs only at temperatures over 20°C. Exposure to high humidity (presumably at cold temperatures) kills the ticks (olenev 1926,1928A).

The presence or absence of A. persicus in coastal areas fre quently is referred to in literature. Lounsbury (1903B) stated that A. persicus is everywhere common in South Africa, including coastal towns and areas. Howard (1908) reported that in South Africa this tick is common except near the coast and that the same distributional pattern had been reported from Australia. Records from a number of other localities indicate that the fowl tick does indeed inhabit coastal areas. For instance, Theodor (1932) reports this species especially common along the Mediterranean coast and in Jordan Sea areas of Palestine. In Egypt, we find it commonly in coastal villages and cities. We have also found cast nymphal skins at Djibouti, the seaport of French Somaliland. It occurs at Port Sudan on the Red Sea coast of Sudan (Sudan Government Collection record) and at Hodeida on the opposite coast in Yemen (Hoogstraal, ms.). In Reunion, Gillard (1949) reported the fowl tick particularly common on the coast, and in Madagascar it occurs chiefly in coastal areas (Bück 1935,1948A,C).

Concerning altitudinal range, A. persicus is frequently reported as common in lowlands and rare or absent in highlands. In mountains of the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt we find numerous speci. mens at elevations up to 6000 feet.

Lewis (1939A) stated that in Kenya A. persicus is present only in European areas. This is certainly not true for the Sudan, where chicken flocks of many remote, indigenous tribes have been known to be infested for half a century. More recently, Wiley (1953) indi. cated that the fowl tick is increasing its range in Kenya.

An apparent negative geotropism displayed by unfed larvae reared from adults collected from trees serving as a heron rookery has been observed by Dr. H. S. Hurlbut at NAMRUL 3, Cairo. At the same time, larvae from adults collected from chicken houses appeared to show a positive geotropism. The Fı larvae of adults from heron rookeries were inclined to prefer herons rather than chickens as hosts and the reverse appeared true for larvae from adults from chicken houses. Informal as these observations are, they suggest an interesting research problem.


MAN: Reported sequelae of the fowl argas' bite range from itching to death. Actually, there are no trustworthy accounts of severe illness resulting from a fowl argas bite. Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis), however, has been transmitted to man by the bite of this tick in the laboratory on one known occasion. Speci. mens have been experimentally infected with plague (Pasteurella pestis) and with yellow fever virus. A. persicus has been reported in textbooks and discussion papers to transmit human relapsing fever (Borrelia spp.) but there does not appear to be a shred of conclusive evidence to support this claim. Experimental studies to date negate this possibility. The little work done on A. persicus in relation to typhus has gone only far enough to show that the etiologic agent (Rickettsia prowazekii) survives in the tick for ten days. The fowl tick is susceptible to parenteral infection with West Nile virus but does not transmit the virus.

FOWIS: The fowl argas is frequently so numerous that birds are killed by exsanguination. Spirochetosis [ Borrelia anserina

B. gallinarum) 7 of chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and canaries is a serious disease transmitted by A. persicus nearly everywhere that it is found, but not everywhere. Fowl piroplasmosis (Aegypt ianella pullorum) is also transmitted by the fowl argas, which also has been suggested to be a vector of Grahamella gallinarum. A condition called fowl paralysis by some students and tick paralysis by others, due possibly to a toxin from the tick, sometimes occurs after bites. Chicken cholera or fowl plague (Pasteurella avicida) may cause the death of birds that eat infected ticks. Virus in duced fowl tumors are not transmitted by bites of the fowl argas. See next paragraph.

WIID BIRDS: Populations of this tick from Egyptian rookeries of the buff-backed heron or cattle egret have been found infected with Salmonella typhimrium, but others from chicken yards were negative for Salmonella spp.

CATTIE: Successful experimental transmission of anaplasmosis (Anaplasma marginale) by A. persicus has been reported.

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MISCELLANEOUS: It has been claimed that West African speci. mens have been found infected with Q fever (Coxiella burnetii). In Egypt, the fowl argas is infected with one or more viruses distinct from West Nile but otherwise unidentified.


an excellent and detailed study of the internal and external morphology of A. persicus has been presented by Robinson and David son (1913A,B,1914), and by Patton and Cragg (1913). An earlier work is that of Heller (1858). Rohr (1909) reported on life cycle and biological studies in Brazil, and included a few photomicrographs of internal organs. Regeneration of broken appendages has been reported by Hindle and Cumliffe (1914) and by Nuttall (1920B). Sensory perceptions have been studied by Hindle and Merriman (1912). The coxal cymatium of A. persicus has been discussed by Schulze (1936A), who also (1941) described and illustrated the haller's organ. Micks (1951) gives an account of a convenient rearing technique and life cycle observations and Sapre (1943) described his method for laboratory rearing. Immmity of chickens to bites of the fowl argas has been studied by Trager (1940). Anticoagulin in the salivary glands and gut has been reported by Nuttall and Strickland (1909) and by Cornwall and Patton (1914). The salivary glands have been described and illustrated by Heller (1858) and Elmassian (1910).

Larvae of clothes moths, Tineola biselliella, have been ob served attacking living larvae of A. persicus in laboratory colo nies (Volimer 1931).

According to Zuelzer (1921), A. persicus and A. reflexus mate and produce fertile offspring. We have been unable to duplicate these results in our Cairo laboratories,

Observations on the bacteriostatic factors in bloodengorged ticks, including A. persicus (Anigstein, Whitney, and Micks 19504, B), prompted further studies showing that bacterial growth inhi. bition in vitro is comparable with the phenomenon induced by antibiotics (whitney, Anigstein, and Micks 1950) and that a blood hydrolysate called sanguinin is responsible (Micks, Whitney, and Anigstein 1951). This subject is reviewed under o. moubata (page 178).

Symbiots of A. persicus have been described in some detail by Cowdry (19250,1926A, 1927) and by Jaschke (1933).

The subgenus Argas is tentatively defined as follows:

mParasites chiefly of fowls. Morphological characters entirely of genus Argas. Sutural line (i.e. lateral groove) encircling body. With a flattened body flange morphologically differentiated dorsal ly and ventrally by a row of quadrate cells or by fine striations or wrinkles; body shape elongate. Integument finely wrinkled; discs conspicuous, radially distributed; lacking ventral "paired organ. Hood lacking; mouthparts posterior of anterior body margin by a distance about equalling their own length. legs moderate; tarsal humps lackingra.

A. reflexus was designated as the type species of the genus Argas by Latreille (1802) and is so considered by Cooley and Kohls (1944) and by Pospelova_Shtrom (1946) [ Nuttall et al (1908) pre ferred to use A. persicus 7. A. reflexus would, therefore, also be the type species of the subgenus Argas.

The size of each stage and of each sex, engorged and unengorged, has been reported by Hooker, Bishopp, and Wood (1912) and by Campana Rouget (1954).


A. persicus is easily recognized by characters listed above for the subgenus Argas, with the restriction that its dorsal and ventral periphery is marked by a row of quadrate "cells (fine striations in A. reflexus).

The male is seldom over 5.0 mm, long and has a semicircular genital aperture. The female measures from 4.0 mm, to 11.0 mm. long and has a narrow, transverse genital aperture,

Nymphs are similar to adults except that they lack a genital aperture although advanced instars may have a shallow depression in its place,

Larvae are nicely illustrated in various editions of Brumpt's Precis.

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These specimens were collected in 1949 and 1950 but subsequento ly we have been unable to find the pigeon argas in Juba or elsewhere in the Sudan. These few may have been remnants of stragglers or of a small number of introduced individuals. If it is a normal inhab itant of the Sudan, the pigeon argas is sporadic and rare here. No other specimens are known from the Ethiopian Faunal Region, except those reported by Rousselot (1951,1953B) from French West Africa and one, possibly this species, from Kenya (Heisch 1954B).


Argas reflexus appears to be a Near or Middle Eastern tick that has spread northward through Europe and Southwestern Russia and eastward to India and elsewhere in Asia (the status of related species or subspecies in Asia requires further study). It may have been accidentally introduced into a few localities in the Ethiopian Faunal Region north of the Equator and to parts of the Americas. If so, transportation of infested domestic pigeons undoubtedly has been responsible for this range.

NORTH AFRICA: EGYPT (E1 Dardiry 1935.

EGYPT (E1 Dardiry 1935. Hoogstraal 1952A. Taylor, work, Hurlbut, and Rizk 1956). ALGERIA (Nuttall et al 1908. Neumann 1911. Presence not subsequently verified [ Unknown in Tunisia (Colas-Belcour 1929B).7

WEST AFRICA: FRENCH WEST AFRICA (Rousselot 1951,1953B from Bamako, Soudan.

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