Volume 25, Number 4—April 2019
Distribution, Host-Seeking Phenology, and Host and Habitat Associations of Haemaphysalis longicornis Ticks, Staten Island, New York, USA
Haemaphysalis longicornis, an invasive Ixodid tick, was recently reported in the eastern United States. The emergence of these ticks represents a potential threat for livestock, wildlife, and human health. We describe the distribution, host-seeking phenology, and host and habitat associations of these ticks on Staten Island, New York, a borough of New York City.
A pictorial key to differentiate the recently detected exotic Haemaphysalislongicornis Neumann, 1901 (Acari, Ixodidae) from native congeners in North America
Until recently, only two haemaphysaline species, Haemaphysalis chordeilis (Packard, 1869) and Haemaphysalis leporispalustris (Packard, 1869), were known to occur in the United States, and neither was considered to be of significant medical or veterinary importance. In 2017–2018 established populations of the Asian longhorned tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis Neumann, 1901, were detected in the eastern US for the first time. Haemaphysalis longicornis has the potential to be a significant threat to human and animal health, and the urgent need to determine the full extent of its distribution and host range requires availability of a straightforward and practical guide to differentiate it from native species. We created a pictorial dichotomous key to all stages of Haemaphysalis spp. known to occur in North America with scanning electron photomicrographs of all H. longicornis life stages, including rarely seen males, to aid researchers in differentiating these species. The largely Neotropical species Haemaphysalis juxtakochi Cooley, 1946, with established populations in Mexico and sporadic detections in the US on migrating birds is also included.
Please see the second link above for pictures of the Asian Longhorned tick.
Remember, this tick is not new but has become a concern due to vast numbers found on domestic sheep & in field collections in the U.S.
The Asian Longhorned tick transmits severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus in Asia (and also transmits trasstadially & transovarially to other ticks and mice). It is unknown if these ticks also transmit pathogens endemic to the U.S. They have been found in the following 8 states: New York (Bronx, Suffolk, Rockland, and Westchester), Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, and Arkansas. They have been found on many mammals including deer, cats, dogs, cows, sheep, red tailed hawk, and a few humans.
Major concerns of Asian Longhorned ticks:
- feed on a wide range of hosts
- produce asexually
- survival – making most regions suitable to sustain them
- all 3 stages were found on white-tailed deer
- co-feeding pathogen transmission has been documented in studies, which would enable them to acquire other pathogens when feeding alongside other infected ticks.