Haemaphysalis longicornis Neumann, 1901
New Zealand cattle tick
Haemaphysalis longicornis Neumann, 1901 (accepted name)
Synonyms and misapplied names:
Haemaphysalis bispinosa Rageau & Vervent, 1959 (misapplied name)
Haemaphysalis bispinosa neumanni Pospelova-Shtrom, 1940 (synonym)
Haemaphysalis concinna longicornis Neumann, 1905 (synonym)
Haemaphysalis neumanni Dönitz, 1905 (synonym)
Haemaphysalis neumanni bispinosa Abramov & Laptev, 1966 (synonym)
Haemaphysalis (Kaiseriana) longicornis Hoogstraal et al ., 1968 (synonym)
Haemaphysalis (Kaiseriana) neumanni Hoogstraal & Trapido, 1966 (synonym)
Haemaphysalis longicornis is known to feed on a wide range of mammals and birds. In New Zealand this species has been recorded as feeding on the following animals;
- Brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), Cat (Felis domesticus), Cattle (Bos taurus), Dog (Canis familiaris), Donkey (Equus asinus), European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus occidentalis), Fallow deer (Dama dama dama), Ferret (Mustela furo), Goat (Capra hircus), Horse (Equus caballus), House mouse (Mus musculus), Humans (Homo sapiens), Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus), Pig (Sus scrofa), Rabbit (Lepus cuniculus), Red Deer (Cervus elaphus scoticus), Rusa deer (Cervus timorensis), Sambar deer (Cervus unicolor unicolor), Sheep (Ovis aries), Ship rat (Rattus rattus), Stoat (Mustela erminea), Weasel (Mustela nivalis vulgaris), Yak (Bos mutus grunniens).
- Dosmestic duck (Anas boscas var), Domestic fowl (Gallus gallus), House sparrow (Passer domesticus), Kiwi, Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), Skylark (Alauda arvensis), Thrush (Turdus philomelus), Turkey (Meleagris gallipavo).
Description of larva
From Hoogstraal et al. (1968).
- Body length unengorged 0.58 to 0.62 mm, breadth 0.47 to 0.51 mm.
- Basis capituli dorsally 2.6 times as broad as long; cornua reduced to rounded posteroexternal bulges; ventrally, with a pair of posthypostomnal setae.
- Palpi with outlines essentially as in nymph; ventral spur of article (segment) 3 broadly triangular, overlaps anterior one-fourth of article (segment) 2.; setae on articles (segments) 2 and 3 number 3 dorsally and 2 ventrally; dorsointernal and ventrointernal setae each single.
- Hypostome with 2/2 dental formula, denticles in. files of 5, 6, or 7.
- Scutum approximately 1.6 times as broad as long; outline, cervical grooves, punctations and setae as illustrated.
- Dorsum and ventor as illustrated.
- Legs coxa I with spur broadly triangular, proportionately slightly shorter than that of nymph; II and Ill each with a slightly elevated ridge in place of a spur. Tarsi, claws, and pulvilli as illustrated.
Description of nymph
From Hoogstraal et al. (1968).
- Body length (unengorged) approximately 1.76 mm, breadth 1.00 mm.
- Basis capituli dorsally 2 times as broad as long (including cornua); margins straight; corona broadly triangular, approximately 0.3 times as long as base of basis capituli; ventrally with 2 or 3 pairs of posteroexternal setae and a pair of posthypostomal setae
- Palpi quite similar in outlines to those of female. Article (segment) 1 lacking setae. Article (segment) 2 with 3 dorsal and 2 ventral setae; dorsointernal seta single; ventrointernal setae number 2. Segment 3 lacking dorsal spur; ventral spur broadly triangular, overlapping anterior one-half of segment 2; long setae number 3 dorsally and 5 ventrally.
- Hypostome approximately 1.85 times as long as broad, apex broadly rounded; corona small, one-eighth as long as outer denticle files; dental formula 3/3; denticles in files of 6.
- Scutum 1.2.5 times as broad as long, outline broadly rounded; cervical grooves narrow, parallel, extend almost to scutal mid-length; punctations rare.
- Spiracular plates subcircular; dorsal extension bluntly triangular.
- Legs Coxae with spurs as in female. trochanters lack ventral spurs. Tarsi narrowly elongate; dorsal surfaces flat proximally, gradually taper distally. Claws moderate, Pulvilli large reach to or almost to apical curvature of claws.
Description of female
From Hoogstraal et al. (1968).
The female differs from the male in secondary sexual characteristics but is similar to it in diagnostic details.
- Body length (unengorged) approximately 2.65 mm (2.7 to 3.4 mm), breadth 1.8 mm (1.4 to 2.0 mm).
- Basis capituli dorsally 2.35 times as broad as long (including cornua); margins essentially straight; cornua approximately one-third as long as base of basis capituli, broadly triangular, pointed; porose areas oval to subcircular, moderate size, widely spaced.
- Palpi as in male except for slightly greater comparative length of article (segment) 3, ventral spur lanceolate rather than broadly triangular, dorsointernal setae number 3, ventrointernal setae number 4 or 5.
- Hypostome As in male except that apex may he truncate. Dental formula 5/5 (the inner denticle file in less than 1% of specimens examined is reduced or obsolete, thus giving a 4/4 or 4.5/4.5 formula); denticles in files of 7 to 9.
- Scutum with L B ratio 1 1; margins somewhat angular (becoming more so during engorgement). Cervical grooves as narrow, converging depressions from anterior emargination to level of anterior one-third of scutal length, continued as shallow, diverging depressions to level of posterior one-third of scutal length. Punctations as in male.
- Genital operculum simple, elongate, outline gradually converging to truncate posterior margin.
Spiracular plates with ventral margin angularly convex; dorsal projection short, blunt, hardly if at all differentiated from plate itself.
- Legs approximately as in male. Come with spurs of II to IV extending well beyond posterior margin of coxae. Trochanter I with ventral spur more rounded and shorter than that of male. Other features of legs essentially as in male.
Description of male
From Hoogstraal et al. (1968).
- Body length from palpal apices to posterior scutal margin approximately 2.51 mm, breadth 1.65 mm. Colour reddish yellow.
- Basis capituli dorsally approximately 1.66 times as broad as long (including cornua), margins essentially straight; corona triangular, pointed, length equal to anterior breadth, one-half as long as base of basis capituli; ventrally with 5 pairs of short posterior setae and 1 pair of short posthypostomal setae.
- Palpi moderately salient posteriorly; combined breadth approximately 1.35 times that of basis capituli; each palp approximately 1.40 times as long as broad. Article (segment) 1 a narrow pedicle with a single ventral seta. Article (segment) 2 approximately 1.3 times as broad as long; posterior margins dorsally and ventrally curving anteriorly from internal margin to external surface; external profile 0.6 times as long as internal margin, acutely converging to anterior margin; posteroexternal juncture forming a small, externally directed triangle; dorsointernal margin approximately straight, slightly bulging anteriorly; ventrointernal margin almost straight; setae number 4 or 5 dorsally (may differ bilaterally), 3 ventrally; dorsointernal setae number 2, ventrointernal setae number 4. Article (segment) 3 (except for dorsal spur) slightly shorter than 2 and broader posteriorly than 2 anteriorly (thus externally forming a small break in palpal profile at juncture of these segments); dorsal spur median, elevated, broadly triangular, sharply pointed, overlapping anterior one-third of segment 2; external profile confluent with bluntly rounded apex; dorsointernal margin rounded; ventral spur broadly triangular, narrowly pointed, extending to midlength of segment 2; setae number 5 dorsally, 3 ventrally, and 3 on internal margin ventrally.
- Hypostome short, stout, not so long as palpi, 2 times as long as broad; apex gradually rounded; corona moderately dense, approximately one-sixth as long as denticle files; dental formula 5/5; denticles in files of 8 to 10.
- Scutum fIat, broadly oval, L:B ratio 1.3:1.0; outline broadest at level of coxa IV and spiracular plates, all margins broadly rounded; apices of spiracular plates not visible from dorsal view. Lateral grooves narrow, distinct, extend to level of anterior one-third of scutal length, enclose first festoon. Cervical grooves as narrow, short, converging depressions. Punctations numerous, discrete, moderately deep, small and medium size, fairly regularly distributed over entire surfare. Festoons number 11.
- Spiracular plates subquadrate; dorsal projection blunt and undifferentiated from the plate itself.
- Legs Coxa I with spur elongate, spine-like, bluntly pointed, length and basal breadth of spur approximately equal, extending to but not beyond anterior margin of coxa II; coxa II and III each with a sub-equal, short, broadly triangular spur extending only slightly beyond posterior margin; coxa IV with a similar but slightly smaller spur. Trochanter I with dorsal plate triangular, sharply pointed; ventral spur triangular, approximately one-third as long as spur of coxa I; other trochanters ventrally with pointed, spur-like elevations becoming smaller from II to IV. Femur IV with 8 ventrointernal setae, each approximately one-half as long as diameter of femur at its site of insertion (Fig. H). Tarsi I to III moderately long, IV long; dorsal surfaces flat proximally, gradually taper distally; ventral surfaces each with a minute subapical hook and II to IV with a small angular ridge subproximally. Claws moderate, Pulvilli reach almost to apical curvature of claws.
In New Zealand H. longicornis transmits little in the way of disease with the only exception being the relatively benign Theileria orientalis. However, H. longicornis can vector piroplasmorina, such as; Babesia major, B. bigemina, B. ovata, B. gibsoni, Rickettsia japonica, Coxiella burneti and T. mutans as well as the viruses that cause; Russian spring-summer encephalitis and Powassan encephalitis, there are also suggestions that Haemaphysalid ticks such as H. longicornis in both Japan and China carry Borrelia spp.*
*This list is not intended to be exhaustive.
Haemaphysalis longicornis probably reached New Zealand via Japan and Australia. It is most common on the North Auckland peninsula and on the east coast of the North Island as far south as Hastings. On the west coast of the North Island it occurs as far south as Waikanae. It has been recorded in the central North Island around Taupo, National Park, and Taumarunui, and in the Golden Bay area of the South Island.
This tick species also occurs in Australia (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and West Australia), China (Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Hebei, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Gansu, Shandong, Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu, Hubei, Sichuan, Yunnan, and Tibet),Fiji, Japan, Korean Peninsula, New Hebrides, New Caledonia, Russia (southern Primorsky Kray), Tonga and Western Samoa.
Status in New Zealand
Comments, identifying features and similar species
Haemaphysalis longicornis is a is a three host tick that reproduces by parthenogenesis throughout much of its range. In New Zealand female H. longicornis lay eggs in late spring and early summer. These eggs hatch in about 60-90 days, depending on temperature and humidity. The emergent larvae climb up vegetation, where they wait for a suitable host to pass nearby; they are attracted by a combination of its body warmth and exhaled carbon dioxide. Within an hour of transferring to a host animal the larva attaches itself to the skin by its mouthparts and remains so for up to 5 days, markedly increasing in size only during the 24 hours preceding detachment. When fully engorged with blood the larva drops to the ground, finds a dark, moist hiding place, and enters a premoult phase which can last up to 30 days depending again on temperature and humidity. Hiding places for this phase include crevices, under leaves, or in the root mat of grasses and rushes.
The larva then moults into the second or nymphal stage . The unfed ticks are often found in the same places as the fully engorged stages. When fully 'hardened off' (physiologically ready) the nymph climbs rush or grass stems and seeks a host. The nymph feeds for up to 7 days on the host, detaches when fully engorged, and spends about 40 days sheltering under vegetation before moulting into the third or adult stage. The female tick now seeks a host, feeds for 7 days or longer, depending on temperature, and after detaching from the host seeks a suitable site to lay its eggs. After 1-2 weeks it commences laying, and may produce up to 2000 eggs over a 2-3-week period. The female will often survive for a further 2 or 3 weeks after egg-laying.
The seasonal pattern of activity of this tick can vary from year to year, depending on climate (see life cycle diagram). In northern areas of New Zealand that are warm, moist and have mild winters, at least two generations occur each year, and larvae can be found in quite large numbers in early spring as well as in summer and autumn. In addition, adults and nymphs can be found on host animals at almost any time of the year except mid winter. In contrast, in temperate areas with more severe winters, the life stages are very clear-cut and only one generation occurs each year; livestock are free of ticks during the latter part of autumn, all winter, and early spring. All unfed stages of the tick may overwinter, but nymphs most commonly do so.
Currently (2009) H. logicornis is the only memebr of the genus Haemaphysalis that occurs in New Zealand. It is therefore easily recognised by the anal groove embracing the anus posteriorly, the presence of festoons and the palps that have there second segment being extended laterally. However, should there be any suspusion over the identity of a specimen it should be compared with the characteristics and images outlined in the sections above.
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