Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Ectoparasites of feral horses [Equus ferus caballus (Linnaeus., 1758)] on Karadağ Mountain, Karaman, turkey.

Abstract

Approximately 250 feral horses [Equus ferus caballus (Linnaeus, 1758)] living on Karadağ Mountain near Karaman City were caught by Kazakh horse herdsmen with permission of the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and brought to a farm in Karkın village in Konya Province, 70 km from Karadağ, in November, 2017. This study was carried out to determine the presence of ectoparasites infesting a subsample of 36 feral horses. The horses were visually inspected, and then their bodies were checked by hand for ectoparasites. Thirty-five (97.2%) were infested with at least one of five species of ectoparasites: Bovicola equi (Linnaeus, 1758), Hippobosca equina (Linnaeus, 1758), Haemaphysalis parva (Neuman, 1897), Hyalomma excavatum (Koch, 18449), Dermacentor marginatus (Sulzer, 1776). Most of the horses were coinfested with two ectoparasite species. Prevalence of infestation with H. equina was 80.6% and with B. equi 72.2%. In addition, prevalence of Ha. parva was 25.0%, Hy. excavatum 13.9%, and D. marginatus was 5.6%. This is the first systematic examination for external parasites of feral horses in Turkey. Further studies are needed to determine ectoparasites of greater numbers of feral horses in different localities.