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Title: Low Abundance of Three Tick Species in the Piedmont of North Carolina
Multiple species of ticks, including Ixodes scapularis (Say, Ixodida:Ixodidae), Amblyomma americanum (L., Ixodida:Ixodidae), and Dermacentor variabilis (Say, Ixodida:Ixodidae), occur in high and increasing abundance in both the northeast and southeast United States. North Carolina is at the nexus of spread of these species, with high occurrence and abundance of I. scapularis to the north and A. americanum to the south. Despite this, there are few records of these species in the Piedmont of North Carolina, including the greater Charlotte metropolitan area. Here, we update the known occurrence and abundance of these species in the North Carolina Piedmont. We surveyed for ticks using cloth drags, CO2 traps, and leaf litter samples at a total of 79 sites within five locations: Mecklenburg County, South Mountains State Park, Stone Mountain State Park, Duke Forest, and Morrow Mountain State Park, all in North Carolina, during the late spring, summer, and fall seasons of 2019. From these surveys, we had only 20 tick captures, illuminating the surprisingly low abundance of ticks in this region of North Carolina. Our results indicate the possibility of underlying habitat and host factors limiting tick distribution and abundance in the North Carolina Piedmont.  more » « less
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Journal of medical entomology
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National Science Foundation
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