ISSN: 2223-2133 (Online), 1815-8986 (Print)
West Indian Veterinary Journal
Studies on diurnal abundance of the soft tick Ornithodoros savignyi in semi-arid Nigeria
Asoke Basu, Paul Shinggu, Musa Ahmed

Studies on the dry season diurnal abundance of the soft-tick Ornithodoros savignyi was carried out at Gubio livestock market in semi arid region of north eastern Nigeria. From 45x45cm soil surface, 4000cm3 soil samples were collected from 10 randomly selected spots in the market.  This was repeated every two hours commencing from 8am to 6pm each day. The atmospheric temperature at the time of each collection was monitored. A total of 2671 ticks were harvested and identified as Ornithodoros savignyi. The abundance of this soft tick fluctuates with the time of the day. The percent total harvest at 8am, 10am, 12noon, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm  were 1.42, 5.58, 20.85, 46.05, 21.68, and 4.42 respectively, while the mean total collection per spot were 0.63±0.87, 2.48±2.82, 9.28±4.04, 20.5±8.14, 9.65±5.79, and 1.97±1.92 respectively. The peak abundance of this soft-tick was at 2pm, total collection at this hour was statistically significant (p < 0.05) compared to all other collections. The peak abundance coincided with peak temperature, strong solar intensity and peak livestock market activities. The implication of the increasing density of this tick population which do coincide with peak livestock market activities and the attribute of low host specificity and longevity of this tick species can predict an increase risk of tick-borne pathogen transmission to domestic animals and man alike in the study area.


Keywords: Ornithodoros savignyi, Soft-tick, Diurnal abundance, Semi arid region