Ornithodoros capensis sensu lato (s.l.) is a morphologically similar group of soft ticks that parasitizes mostly seabirds in continental and offshore territories worldwide. Ornithodoros capensis sensu stricto (s.s.) has been previously recorded in many islands and coastal localities along the American continent; however, some records from Central America remain obscure. In this work we performed morphological and molecular analyses on soft ticks collected in Coiba National Park, an archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Panama, confirming the occurrence of O. capensis s.s. in this country for the first time. In addition, a morphological examination of museum specimens collected in Costa Rica, and a further locality in Panama, confirmed that O. capensis s.l. is established in the former country, and that its distribution along Panamanian shores is likely larger.
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We thank the Environment Ministry for the collection permission. We thank Juan Lezcano (Gorgas Institute) for his assistance during field work; Jorge Ceballos (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute) for his technical support with scanning electron microscopy; Lasar Dina for logistic support (BA). Field work of this study was sponsored by Coiba Scientific Station (Grant Fund 001, Coiba-AIP); molecular analyses were funded by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES Finance Code 001) and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq); BA was funded by National Institute of Health, and SML by FAPESP grant #2018/02521-1.
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Muñoz-Leal, S., Domínguez, L., Armstrong, B.A. et al. Ornithodoros capensis sensu stricto (Ixodida: Argasidae) in Coiba National Park: first report for Panama, with notes on the O. capensis group in Panamanian shores and Costa Rica. Exp Appl Acarol 81, 469–481 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10493-020-00516-z
- Ornithodoros capensis
- Central America
- Soft tick