Relative abundance of hard tick on reared cattle (Family: Bovidae; Bos pp.) in Idah Local Government Area (LGA), Kogi State, Nigeria
A survey was carried out among cattle reared in Idah LGA of Kogi State, for tick infestations for a period of four months (May – August, 2009). A total of 294 cattle were sampled, 181 were infested with three species of hard ticks (Family: Ixodidae), comprising of Amblyomma variegatum, Boophilus decoloratus, and Rhipicephalus sanguineus. An overall tick infestation prevalence of 61.6% was recorded. The overall Geometric Mean Intensity/Arithmetic Mean Intensity: GMI and AMI were 1.13 and 6.73 respectively. Of these species, A. variegatum recorded the highest percentage abundance in bulls (30.1%) and cows (30.3%) in the month of July. There was, however, no significant difference in the relative abundance of tick infestation between the bulls and cows (p>0.05). Also, there was no significant difference in prevalence of infestation between the two sexes (p>0.05). However, the lowest (3.8%) and highest (46.4%) abundance of A. variegatum occurred in Idah Metropolis and Fulani villages respectively. W/hereas the species with the least percentage abundance, R. sanguineus, recorded its lowest (0.5%) and highest abundance (2.1%) also in Idah and Fulani village respectively. The scrotal and udder regions of the bulls and cows recorded the largest tick infestation respectively. The lowest intensity of tick infestation of bulls (GMI = 1.57) and cows (GMI = 1.32) were recorded in muzzle and arm of the cattle respectively.
Keywords: cattle, ixodid ticks, prevalence and intensity of infestation.