A survey of hard ticks associated with cave dwelling mammals in Turkey


TICKS AND TICK-BORNE DISEASES, vol.13, no.6, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2022.102008
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Bat ticks, Ixodes vespertilionis, Ixodes ariadnae, Ixodes simplex, Ixodes kaiseri, Turkey, VESPERTILIONIS ACARI IXODIDAE, IXODES-ARIADNAE, 1ST RECORD
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Members of the subgenus Eschatocephalus Frauenfeld, 1853 are highly specialized cave-dwelling ectoparasites of bats. We conducted a comprehensive field-based survey on bat ticks in Turkey and provided information about the phylogenetic placement of collected species. Sampling was carried out at 26 caves from 18 provinces around Turkey between 2019 and 2021. Eighty-one tick specimens collected from the cave environment or on various cave roosting bats resulted in five species: Ixodes vespertilionis, Ixodes simplex, Ixodes ariadnae, Ixodes kaiseri, and Haemaphysalis erinacei. While I. simplex was the most frequently collected species with a rate of 56.2% mainly from bats (Miniopterus schreibersii), I. vespertilionis was the most prevalent species (65.4%) and found mainly on cave walls. The first record of I. ariadnae was provided for Turkey. Phylogenetic trees were built using mt 16S rDNA and COI markers. Our results demonstrated the presence of two distinct lineages of I. vespertilionis in Turkey; one lineage grouped with European isolates, whereas three sequences clustered separately. The phylogenetic pattern of I. simplex was consistent with previous results; this Glade was clustered distantly to other bat tick species. The significance of the surprising records of H. erinacei and I. kaiseri in caves is also discussed.