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Exp Appl Acarol. 2014 Apr;62(4):557-66. doi: 10.1007/s10493-013-9748-9. Epub 2013 Oct 20.

Ticks collected from migratory birds, including a new record of Haemaphysalis formosensis, on Jeju Island, Korea.

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Jeju Wildlife Rescue Center, Jeju National University, Jeju City, Jeju, 690-121, Republic of Korea.


Migratory birds may disperse parasites across ecological barriers, and recent climate change may alter the pattern of ectoparasite dispersal via changed patterns of bird migration. In order to document the parasitization of migratory birds by Ixodidae ticks on Jeju Island in Korea, we examined 934 migratory birds comprising 75 species for ticks from 2010 to 2012. In total, 313 ticks were collected from 74 migratory birds across 17 avian species and identified based on morphological keys. These ticks represented six species: Haemaphysalis flava, H. formosensis, H. longicornis, H. concinna, Ixodes turdus and I. nipponensis. Of particular note was the presence of H. formosensis, a species not previously reported to have been found in Korea, and H. concinna, which had not been previously reported on Jeju Island. The dominant tick species found were H. flava (226 ticks, 72.2 %) and I. turdus (54 ticks, 17.3 %), and ground-dwelling thrushes such as Pale thrushes (Turdus pallidus; 39 birds, 52.7 %) were the most important hosts. Although H. longicornis is the most abundant and prevalent terrestrial tick on Jeju Island, the species accounted for only 3.8 % of the total ticks collected in this study, suggesting that ticks on migratory birds may differ from the local tick fauna and that exotic ticks may be introduced via migratory birds. Therefore, long-term programs for tick and tick-borne disease surveillance are recommended to understand the role of migratory animals in the introduction of exotic species and associated pathogens and in life cycles of ticks at different stages in this region.

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