The Keds Are Alright: Community Collection of Ticks (Ixodida: Ixodidae) and Keds (Diptera: Hippoboscidae) from Hunter-Harvested Deer

Jesse Ray Evans, Karen C. Poh, Michael Skvarla, Erika T. Machtinger

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Deer keds [Lipoptena cervi (L. 1758)] are ectoparasitic and hematophagous dipterans. Originally native to Northern Europe, L. cervi records in the United States begin in 1907 when they were found in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Subsequently, they have been recorded from several states and parasitize many native cervids (Artiodactyla: Cervidae) including white-Tailed deer [Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmerman 1780)]. Concurrently, blacklegged ticks [Ixodes scapularis (Say 1821)], and cases of Lyme disease are increasing in prevalence in the Northeast. The continued expansion and increase in vectors and vector-borne diseases present an opportunity for study and community outreach. We used a combination of active and passive collection techniques, using deer hunters as community scientists, to collect ectoparasites of deer in Pennsylvania over two hunting seasons (2018-2019, 2019-2020). Community scientists were recruited through Facebook groups, e-mail, and hunting clubs. In total, 1,226 L. cervi and 1,954 I. scapularis were collected from white-Tailed deer harvested by the community and deer processors across both hunting seasons. The community collected 298 L. cervi and 472 I. scapularis during the 2018-2019 season. In the same season, 529 L. cervi and 577 I. scapularis were collected from deer processors. For the 2019-2020 season, 225 L. cervi and 381 I. scapularis were collected by the community and 174 L. cervi and 524 I. scapularis were collected from deer processors. Benefits and drawbacks were identified for each collection method and a combination of both methods was found to be most effective in gathering specimens without sacrificing standardization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-693
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of the Entomological Society of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Insect Science

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