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Parasite. 2010 Dec;17(4):349-55.

Argas (Persicargas) persicus (Oken, 1818) (Ixodida: Argasidae) in Sicily with considerations about its Italian and West-Mediterranean distribution.

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Istituto per lo Studio degli Ecosistemi, CNR, Traversa la Crucca 3, Regione Baldinca, 07100 Li Punti SS, Italia.


Recently, in the province of Trapani (Western Sicily), some overwintering specimens of the argasid tick Argos (Persicargas) persicus (Oken, 1818) were observed and collected. Morphological and genetic analysis were utilized in order to reach a definitive identification. The species was found in two semi-natural sites where, having been found repeatedly, its presence does not appear accidental. Moreover the characteristics of the Sicilian findings seem to exclude a human-induced spread. This record, the first regarding Sicily and South Italy, is discussed together with the previous doubtful citations for Italy. These findings revalue not only all the old citations for Italy but also the hypothesis that the Mediterranean distribution of this argasid is of a natural origin.

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