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University of Richmond

Publication Date

Spring 2014

Program Name

Panama: Tropical Ecology, Marine Ecosystems, and Biodiversity Conservation


In Panama, there are cases of ticks that can act as vectors or reservoirs for rickettsioses. This study hopes to verify the effects of urbanization in correlation with elevation on the distribution of populations of different species of ticks on domesticated dogs in the Chiriquí Province of Panama. Seven towns, three in the lowlands (La Concepcion, David and Dolega) and four in the highlands (Boquete, Cerro Punta, Potrerillos Arriba, and Volcan) were chosen according to an urbanizational and elevational gradient. A total of 280 dogs (n=40 for each town) were examined for all life stages of ticks (Acari: Ixodida) with the permission of the owners. Following removal, ticks were stored in glass tubes with 95% ethanol. 37.14% of all the dogs were parasitized with ticks (16.88 % in highlands, 64.16% in lowlands). A total of 1,823 ticks were collected, belonging to three species: Rhicelphilus sanguineus s.l., R. microplus, Amblyomma ovale, and additionally, one unidentified species of Amblyomma. Rhipicephalus sanguineus was the most widespread and prevalent species, except in Potrerillos Arriba where just one specimen was collected, possibly for lack of an ecologically environment suitable for R. sanguineus. The environmental conditions in Panama can affect the portions of different species of ticks parasitizing dogs which can increase the risk of transmission for tick-borne diseases in some areas.


Animal Sciences


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