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ARS Home » Plains Area » Kerrville, Texas » Knipling-Bushland U.S. Livestock Insects Research Laboratory » LAPRU » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #345286

Research Project: Cattle Fever Tick Control and Eradication

Location: Livestock Arthropod Pests Research

Title: Biological control of cattle fever ticks

Author
item Goolsby, John
item Guerrero, Felicito - Felix
item KASHEFI, JAVID - Non ARS Employee
item Smith, Lincoln - Link
item RACELIS, ALEX - University Of Texas Rio Grande Valley
item CRUZ-FLORES, MARY - De La Salle University
item AMALIN, DAVINA - De La Salle University
item SINGH, NIRBHAY - Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University
item AZHAHIANAMBI, P - Non ARS Employee
item DEBARRO, PAUL - Csiro European Laboratory
item SHEPPPARD, ANDY - Csiro European Laboratory
item WYCKUYS, CHRIS - Non ARS Employee
item LIU, J - Hebei University
item SCHWARTZ, A - Texas Animal Health Commission
item HASEL, H - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item VARNER, K - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item ELLIS, D - Texas A&M University
item Perez De Leon, Adalberto - Beto

Submitted to: Subtropical Agriculture and Environments
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/3/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Cattle fever ticks (CFT) Rhipicephalus (=Boophilus) microplus and Rhipicephalus annulatus are invasive livestock pests that are endemic to Mexico and invasive along the Texas – Mexico border. Acaricide resistance, alternate wildlife hosts, and pathogenic landscape forming weeds present challenges for sustainable eradication of this pest in the U.S. Classical biological control of CFT is being explored as a strategy to control this pest, especially on alternate hosts such as nilgai antelope and white-tailed deer. Genetic fingerprinting was used to compare populations of CFT from Texas to areas in the Old World where they are native to determine where to search for potential biological control agents. CFT from subtropical Zapata, Texas, USA matched most closely with CFT in The Philippines and Cambodia. Similarly, accessions of R. annulatus from Del Rio, TX matched closely with CFT in Bulgaria and Romania. These regions should be prioritized for field exploration for biological control agents.

Technical Abstract: Cattle fever ticks (CFT) Rhipicephalus microplus and Rhipicephalus annulatus are invasive livestock pests that are endemic to Mexico and invasive along the Texas – Mexico border. Acaricide resistance, alternate wildlife hosts, and pathogenic landscape forming weeds present challenges for sustainable eradication of this pest in the U.S. Classical biological control of CFT is being explored as a strategy to control this pest, especially on alternate hosts such as nilgai antelope and white-tailed deer. Molecular genetic tools were used to compare populations of CFT from the native and introduced ranges to provide insights into optimal search areas for potential biological control agents. Accessions representative of invasive populations of R. microplus from subtropical Zapata, Texas, USA and other parts of the invaded range including Brazil and Kenya matched most closely with populations in The Philippines and Cambodia. Similarly, accessions of R. annulatus from invaded range in Del Rio, TX matched closely with accessions from the native range in Bulgaria and Romania. These regions should be prioritized for field exploration for biological control agents. Classical biological control using specialist parasitoids, predators and/or nematodes from the native ranges of cattle fever ticks Rhipicephalus microplus and Rhipicephalus annulatus could complement existing control strategies for this livestock pest in the transboundary region between Mexico and Texas. Methods for field collection of cattle fever tick natural enemies have been developed, including exposure of infested cattle to collect insects that are parasitic on the nymphs and adults, time lapse photography to observe predators of questing larvae, and soil assays to detect entomopathogenic nematodes.