First Record of the Gulf Coast Tick, Amblyomma Maculatum, from the Lark Bunting, Calamospiza Melanocorys
Rept. for Jan-Mar 2010
WALTER REED ARMY MEDICAL CENTER WASHINGTON DC
Pagination or Media Count:
On 16 Dec 2006, we removed a single engorged ixodid tick from the head of an adult female Lark Bunting, Calamospiza melanocorys, that had been captured accidentally in a Museum Special snap trap baited with peanut butter and rolled oats to collect small mammals. The capture site was located on a tract of land north of U.S. Highway 90, approximately 2 km east of Alpine, Brewster County, TX. This land is grazed by cattle, and the desert scrub vegetation is characterized by grasses Poaceae, mesquite Prosopis glandulosa, cactus Opuntia spp., yucca Yucca spp., fendlerbush Fendlera sp., and agarito Mahonia trifoliolata. The specimen was shipped to Richard G. Robbins, who identified it as a nymph of Amblyomma maculatum, the so-called Gulf Coast tick, which in North America chiefly occurs along the Gulf Coast and in the southern Atlantic coastal states. Adults parasitize a variety of large wild and domestic mammals Keirans and Litwak 1989 immature stages nymphs, larvae feed on small- to medium-sized mammals, but also on ground-frequenting birds, sometimes accompanying the latter on migrations as far north as southern Canada Keirans and Durden 1998. A thorough search of the literature has revealed that our specimen of A. maculatum is the first to have been recorded from Lark Bunting.