Distribution and phylogeny of Hyalomma ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) in Turkey


EXPERIMENTAL AND APPLIED ACAROLOGY, vol.73, pp.501-519, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


The genus Hyalomma includes some of the most medically and veterinarily important tick species in the world. To clarify and identify the current distribution of the species of Hyalomma, field studies were conducted in 65 localities in Turkey and five localities in Cyprus. Additionally, using mitochondrial 12S and 16S ribosomal DNA, specimens of Hyalomma from Turkey, H. excavatum from Cyprus, H. marginatum from Spain and Italy were evaluated together with the available sequences obtained from Genbank. Morphological and molecular analyses demonstrated the presence of four species in Turkey: H. marginatum, H. excavatum, H. aegyptium and H. asiaticum. Hyalomma marginatum is the dominant species in the Central and Northern parts of Turkey, whereas H. excavatum distributes mostly in the Southern parts. Hyalomma asiaticum is restricted to the Southeastern Anatolia. However, some sympatric regions were observed for these species. Phylogenetic trees obtained with Maximum Likelihood method demonstrated five clades. Data supported previous conclusions, but placed H. asiaticum, H. scupense, H. dromedarii and H. aegyptium in different clades with high bootstrap values. Specimens of H. anatolicum group and H. marginatum complex are sister groups. Pairwise distance analyses of these groups showed 2.8 and 3% differences for 12S rDNA and 16S rDNA, respectively. Therefore, additional analyses with the samples from different locations using different markers need to evaluate the exact status of the species of these groups.