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The brown dog tick Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu Roberts, 1965 across Australia: Morphological and molecular identification of R. sanguineus s.l. tropical lineage

Chandra, Shona, Ma, Gemma C., Burleigh, Alex, Brown, Graeme, Norris, Jacqueline M., Ward, Michael P., Emery, David, Šlapeta, Jan
Ticks and tick-borne diseases 2020 v.11 no.1 pp. 101305
DNA, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, dogs, haplotypes, neotypes, temperate zones, ticks, tropics, Fiji, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, Seychelles, Western Australia
The brown dog tick Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Latreille, 1806) is the most widely distributed tick species globally. Throughout the world there are at least two divergent lineages on dogs that are traditionally grouped into what was known as R. sanguineus. The species R. sanguineus was recently redescribed using a neotype reported from countries with a temperate climate. The second lineage distributed in countries with primarily tropical climates is currently designated R. sanguineus s.l. tropical lineage. Here, we present a comprehensive genetic evaluation of Australian brown dog ticks from across the continent that complements the morphological study of R. sanguineus sensu Roberts (1965). A total of 294 ticks were collected from dogs around Australia ― including New South Wales, Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia ― for morphological identification. All ticks were morphologically identified as R. sanguineus sensu Roberts (1965). DNA was isolated from a single leg from morphologically characterised individuals from New South Wales (n = 14), Queensland (n = 18), Northern Territory (n = 7) and Western Australia (n = 13), together with ticks from Fiji (n = 1) and the Seychelles (n = 1) for comparison with Australian ticks. The study revealed three cox1 haplotypes clustered only with R. sanguineus s.l. tropical lineage’. An updated distribution of R. sanguineus sensu Roberts (1965) is compared to the 1965 distribution. In the Australian context, R. sanguineus s.l. has appeared in north-western New South Wales but remains absent from coastal New South Wales. Despite both temperate and tropical climates being present in Australia, only R. sanguineus s.l. tropical lineage was found. The evidence does not support the presence of the strictly defined brown dog tick, R. sanguineus by Nava et al. (2018) in Australia, because the examined ticks are genetically and morphologically distinct. We recommend using the term brown dog tick, R. sanguineus sensu Roberts (1965) for specimens from Australia.