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Figures 31 and 32, , dorsal and ventral views


Sudan specimen


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Blue Nile: Gebelein (El Jebelein) (King 1911,1915), "Blue Nile districts (Archibald 1923).

Kassala: Erkowit (King 1926).

Kordofan: Nuba Mountains (Ruttledge 1930).

Sudan Government collections contain King's Gebelein collections, numerous laboratory reared progeny, and Ruttledge's specimens from Delami in the Nuba Mountains.

Note the Egyptian records below, most of which are from the Southeastern Desert near the Sudan frontier in that part of Egypt administered by the Sudan Government.


Argas brumpti is a tick of drier East African areas that has spread into South and Southwest Africa, into that part of south eastern Egypt that is included in the Ethiopian Faunal Region, and some distance into the Western Desert of Egypt (Palearctic Faunal Region). The distribution has been mapped by Hoogstraal and Kaiser (1956).

NORTH AFRICA: EGYPT (Hoogstraal 1952A. Garnham 1954,1955. Hoogstraal and Kaiser 1956. Davis and Mavros 1956B. Schmidt and Marx 1956).

EAST AFRICA: SUDAN (King 1911,1915,1926. Archibald 1923. Ruttledge 1930. Hoogstraal 19524,1954B. Hoogstraal and Kaiser 1956).

ETHIOPIA (as Somaliland) (Neumann 1907B, 1911,1922. Nuttall et al 1908. Stella 1938A, 19398, 1940).

KENYA (Neave 1912. Cunliffe 1914B. Anderson 19244. Warbur. ton 1933. Walton 1950B. Garnham 1954,1955. Heisch 1954F). UGANDA (Hoogstraal and Kaiser 1956).



Available records indicate that in nature larvae feed on lizards and on a number of mammals inhabiting dry caves, lairs, and rock ledges. Nymphs and adults also attack lizards and almost any mammal that happens to stop near their retreat. Certain birds are acceptable as larval hosts in the laboratory but birds have not yet been found infested in nature. Larvae have been reared on guinea pigs and nymphs and adults on white mice.


Animals on which larval A. brumpti have actually been found in nature are the following:

Lizards: Agama colonorum in the Sudan (Ruttledge 1930). Uro mastix ocellatus and Agama a. spinosa in Southeastern Egypt (Hoogstraal and Kaiser 1955. Schmidt and Marx 1956). Gerrhosaurus validus in Transvaal (Bedford 1936). The gecko Tarentola a. annu Taris in the Western Desert and in the Southeastern desert of Upper Egypt.

Rock hyraxes: Heterohyrax brucei hoogstraali (Equatoria Prov. ince record above), Procavia sp. in Egypt (Hoogstraal 1952B), and Procavia capensis burtoni in Southeastern Egypt (Hoogstraal and Kaiser 1956).

Rodents: Spiny mice, Acomys bystrella (Equatoria Province rocord above) and Acomys cahirinus dimidiatus in Southeastern Egypt (Hoogstraal and Kaiser 1956).

Nymphs and Adults

Specimens from the Kitui District of Kenya (Heisch 1954F) were determined by precipitin tests to have fed on porcupines and not on hyraxes, rats, or gerbils. Lizards and baboons were suspected as possible hosts. Subsequently, Garnham (1954) work ing in the same area found blood corpuscles of lizards in re cently fed ticks and noted that indigested corpuscles could be identified in the ticks at least a month after feeding. Garnham fed captive nymphs and adults on geckos and agamid lizards.

Inasmuch as nymphs and adults feed rapidly, they are seldom found when the vertebrate host is examined. It may be assumed, however, that these stages probably feed on most of the larval hosts noted above.

Walton (1950B) reported that Brumpt's argas attacks hyraxes and people who take refuge near hyrax dens in Kenya. Theiler's five female specimens from Ovamboland are from a mierkat, Cynictis penicillata cinderella. Africans of the Yatta Plains say that this tick (kitunu) teeds on human beings, elephants, buffalo, elands, and giraffes, and that specimens may be found in dust where big game animals roll (Cunliffe 1914B). I have seen three adult specimens from a lion's lair near Pusa, Kenya (EMNH collections). In Ethiopia, Brumpt found A. brumpti near porcupine bur. rows, and reported its bite on himself (Nuttall et al 1908. Brumpt's Precis). King's (1925) Sudan records are from sparsely vegetated areas containing caves and crevices in which many kinds of animals rest. Uganda hosts are the African porcupine and the rock hyrax, Procavia capensis meneliki (Hoogstraal and Kaiser 1956).

Experimental Hosts

King (1926) reared larvae on the bare skin of the head of guinea fowl. Larvae failed to engorge on man, dogs, cats, goats, pigeons, doves, sparrows, or bats, though some attached to sparrows and pigeons. Nymphs and adults fed on rabbits and man. Ruttledge (1930) found no larvae on guinea fowl in the Nuba Moun tains and believed that lizards are the favorite larval host there.

Davis and Mavros (1956B) successfully reared larvae on guinea pigs and nymphs and adults on white mice.

That the various stages of Brumpt's argas feed to an extreme degree of repletion on white mice and guinea pigs has been noted in Dr. G. E. Davis' and in our laboratories. This phenomenon is exceptional in the genus Argas.


Life Cycle

Ruttledge (1930) found larvae on lizards only in March, at the end of the dry season. Larvae taken in Egypt were attached to hosts in the winter and spring months of February, March, and April; but it should be noted that these are the only months during which we have extensively explored Upper Egypt, to which area A. brumpti is probably restricted here.

At Khartoum, eggs were laid in the laboratory in March, April, and October; some of these hatched about a month later (King 1915). Females brood over their eggs until larvae emerge (confirmed by Davis and Mavros 1956), as has been observed for many argasid spe cies (Hoogstraal 1952B).

Hosts on which King fed immature stages have been listed above.

Cunliffe (1914B) reported egg laying from a single female as follows: 53 eggs between 99 and 106 days after emergence, 66 eggs between 118 and 125 days, 21 eggs between 152 and 156 days, and 18 eggs between 161 and 166 days; total 158 eggs. The female had fed on a fowl on the 12th, 17th, and 143rd day and had been fertilized on the 13th, 17th, 142nd, 158th, and 168th day. Larvae hatched from two egg batches 24 to 27 days after the eggs had been laid but refused to attach to a fowl and died. King (1915) ob served that larvae do not feed readily until they are about ten days old.

Subsequently, eggs were laid in the laboratory in batches of about seventy eges, about a month apart, after each feeding, through the cooler months of the year in Khartoum (King 1926). One male fertilized at least three females. Four nymphal stages were ob served. À certain mature female collected in July, 1918 was still alive in December, 1926.

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