During the spring and fall turkey hunting seasons of 1999, hunters and Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks field personnel examined wild turkeys, Meleagris gallopavo L., for ticks and submitted them to us for identification. From springtime hunting, we received 113 ticks from 12 turkeys killed in nine counties, all in the eastern one-third of Kansas. Collectors reported examining three additional wild turkeys on which no ticks were found. All ticks were nymphal lone star ticks, Amblyomma americanum (L.). Of 11 wild turkeys examined in seven counties during October, one was parasitized by 30 A. americanum larvae. Data from this study and accounts from the published literature suggest that parasitism of wild turkeys by immature lone star ticks is commonplace wherever this host and ectoparasite are sympatric. Our study suggests that M. gallopavo may be an important host that supports lone star tick populations.
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Vol. 38 • No. 1