Infestation of the Northern white-breasted hedgehog (Erinaceus roumanicus) with Ixodes ticks in urban ecosystems of the city of Poznań
Between April and November 2009, infestation by Ixodes hexagonus and I. ricinus ticks on the northern white-breasted hedgehog, Erinaceus roumanicus, was investigated in urban environments of the city of Poznań. In total, 49 hedgehogs were trapped, 36 (73.5%) of which hosted 1,519 ixodid ticks, with a mean intensity of 42.2 ticks per infested animal. The most abundant tick species, I. hexagonus, constituted 67% (1,019) of all ticks recorded and infested 71.4% of the hosts. I. ricinus accounted for 33% (500) of all ticks recorded, and was identified on 51% of the hedgehogs. Mean intensities of ticks were higher for I. hexagonus than for I. ricinus (29.1 and 20.0, respectively). The proportion of the two tick species differed by life stage. I. hexagonus larvae (n = 744) strongly dominated over nymphs (n = 204) and females (n = 71). In contrast, similar proportions of three stages of I. ricinus were recorded (168 larvae, 194 nymphs, 138 females). Both tick species parasitizing hedgehogs showed seasonal differences in tick burdens and prevalences. The data obtained in this survey demonstrate that E. roumanicus hedgehogs hosting all developmental stages of Ixodes, contribute to the local amplifying and maintenance of tick populations within urban environments.
Erinaceus roumanicus, Ticks, Infestation, Poznań
Arthropods. Ecological and pathological aspects of parasite-host relationship. Buczek Alicja, Błaszak Czesław (eds.). Akapit, Lublin. 2010, pp. 41-47