Surveys in 2001, 2005, and 2006 attempted to determine the role of wildlife in maintenance and dissemination of the tropical bont tick, Amblyomma variegatum (F.) (Acari: Ixodidae), in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Small mammals; birds; white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmermann); and feral cattle, Bos taurus L., were examined at nine premises, in mountainous rain forest, and in surrounding areas in western St. Croix, an area including and central to all known bont tick-infested premises on the island. Small Asian mongooses, Herpestes javanicus (É. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire), yielded 1,566 ectoparasite specimens, representing five species, and including larvae of a soft tick, Carios puertoricensis (Fox); the tropical horse tick, Anocentor nitens (Neumann); and the southern cattle tick, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (Canestrini). Black rats, Rattus rattus L., yielded 144 specimens, representing six ectoparasite species, including C. puertoricensis. Of 25 bird species examined, seven yielded 116 ectoparasite specimens representing at least 14 different species of lice and mites, but no ticks. White-tailed deer and feral cattle yielded only various stages of A. nitens and R. microplus ticks. A. variegatum was not encountered on any potential wildlife host sampled, reflecting its low occurrence in St. Croix during the survey period. One collection of chewing lice (Phthiraptera: Philopteridae) from a spotted sandpiper, Actitis macularia (L.), and collections of feather mites (Acari: Astigmata: Trouessartiidae) from both bananaquits, Coereba flaveola (L.), and black-faced grassquits, Tiaris bicolor (L.), may represent new, undescribed species.
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Vol. 46 • No. 6