Amblyomma spp

From Cow
Adult Amblyomma americanum tick

Amblyomma spp are a tick parasite of cattle worldwide.

As well as being a cause of anaemia and hide damage, these ticks also transmit lumpy skin disease, Ehrlichia ruminantium[1], Theileria spp, Trypanosoma spp, Anaplasma marginale and Babesia bovis as well as certain viruses such as Bunyavirus, Kajiado, Kismayo, Dugbe and Barur viruses.

Species which are known to be pathogenic to cattle include:

  • A. americanum - lone-star tick (southern USA)[2]
  • A. cajennense - Cayenne tick (Southern USA to South America)[3]
  • A. maculatum - Gulf Coast tick[4]
  • A. imitator
  • A. neumanni
  • A. ovale
  • A. parvum - (Argentina to Mexico)[5]
  • A. tigrinum - (South America)
  • A. tapirellum - (Colombia to Mexico)
  • A. testudinarium - Asia
  • A. integrum - (India, Sri Lanka)
  • A. mudlairi - (India, Sri Lanka)
  • A. hebraeum - bont tick (southern Africa)
  • A. variegatum - bont tick (sub-Saharan savannah)[6][7]
  • A. lepidum - bont tick (east Africa)
  • A. gemma - bont tick (central Africa)
  • A. cohaerens - bont tick (Ethiopia)
  • A. pomposum - bont tick (central Africa)
  • A. astrion - bont tick (west Africa, Zaire)
  • A. auricularium - (Central and South America)
  • A. naponense - (South and Central America)
  • A. latepunctatum
  • A. scalpturatum
  • A. triste - (South America)[8]
  • A. incisum
  • A. dissimile - (North and South America)

The life cycle of these ticks typically have between one and three hosts, depending on the climate[9].


Control of this parasite is usually effective with topical acaricides such as ivermectin, doramectin and fipronil[10].

Commercially available synthetic acaricides are commonly used, but indiscriminate practices in their application have resulted in the rapid evolution of resistance. Although single acaricide treatment can destroy all of the ticks on an animal, they will not prevent reinfestation.

The infested pasture must remain free of all livestock for 6 to 9 months or longer, to break the tick life cycle.


  1. Steyn HC et al (2010) Veterinary extension on sampling techniques related to heartwater research. J S Afr Vet Assoc 81(3):160-165
  2. Tolleson DR et al (2010) Effects of a lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum) burden on performance and metabolic indicators in growing beef steers. Vet Parasitol 173(1-2):99-106
  3. Rodríguez-Valle M et al (2012) Efficacy of Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus Bm86 against Hyalomma dromedarii and Amblyomma cajennense tick infestations in camels and cattle. Vaccine 30(23):3453-3458
  4. Edwards KT (2011) Gotch ear: a poorly described, local, pathologic condition of livestock associated primarily with the Gulf Coast tick, Amblyomma maculatum. Vet Parasitol 183(1-2):1-7
  5. Olegário MM et al (2011) Life cycle of the tick Amblyomma parvum Aragão, 1908 (Acari: Ixodidae) and suitability of domestic hosts under laboratory conditions. Vet Parasitol 179(1-3):203-208
  6. Ogo NI et al (2012) Molecular identification of tick-borne pathogens in Nigerian ticks. Vet Parasitol 187(3-4):572-577
  7. Magona JW et al (2011) Response of Nkedi Zebu and Ankole cattle to tick infestation and natural tick-borne, helminth and trypanosome infections in Uganda. Trop Anim Health Prod 43(5):1019-1033
  8. Nava S et al (2011) Seasonal dynamics and hosts of Amblyomma triste (Acari: Ixodidae) in Argentina. Vet Parasitol 181(2-4):301-308
  9. Merck Vet Manual
  10. Kiss T et al (2012) Tick prevention at a crossroad: new and renewed solutions. Vet Parasitol 187(3-4):357-66