The Bat Tick Carios Azteci (Acari: Argasidae) From Belize, With An Endosymbiotic Coxiellaceae
USAFSAM/FHT Wright-Patterson AFB United States
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Thirteen caves in the Toledo District, Belize, were bioinventoried in April 2011 and May 2012. Carios azteci Matheson 1935 was found in five of the caves, representing the first record of C. azteci from Belize, but this species has probably been established in the country as long as the bat hosts were present. Five C. azteci specimens were screened for endosymbiotic and pathogenic microbes using PCR protocol. C. azteci was only found in the dark zone. The only endosymbiont or pathogen detected in the ticks was an unnamed Rickettsiella or Diplorickettsia Coxiellaceae. Further research into the pathogens and diversity of bat parasites and diseases is an open field of research in the tropics.