Distribution of endemic and introduced tick species in Free State Province, South Africa.
The distributions of endemic tick vector species as well as the presence of species not endemic to Free State Province, South Africa, were determined during surveys or opportunistic collections from livestock, wildlife and vegetation. Amongst endemic ticks, the presence of Rhipicephalus appendiculatus was confirmed in the north of the province, whilst Rhipicephalus decoloratus was collected at 31 localities mostly in the centre and east, and Ixodes rubicundus at 11 localities in the south, south-west and centre of the province. Amongst the non-endemic species adult Amblyomma hebraeum were collected from white rhinoceroses (Ceratotherium simum) on four privately owned farms, whilst the adults of Rhipicephalus microplus were collected from cattle and a larva from vegetation at four localities in the east of the province. The collection of Rhipicephalus evertsi mimeticus from a sheep in the west of the province is the second record of its presence in the Free State, whereas the presence of Haemaphysalis silacea on helmeted guineafowl (Numida meleagris) and vegetation in the centre of the province represents a first record for this species in the Free State. The first collection of the argasid tick, Ornithodoros savignyi, in the Free State was made from a domestic cow and from soil in the west of the province. The localities at which the ticks were collected have been plotted and the ticks' role in the transmission or cause of disease in domestic livestock and wildlife is discussed.