Otobius megnini (Dugès), often referred to as the spinose ear tick, is a one-host tick infesting the ear canal of a variety of ungulate species. The objective of this study was to develop sampling methods for collecting free-living stages of O. megnini and to collect preliminary data on habitat distribution. Sampling occurred during 2010 and 2011 at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center (FRWC) near Glen Rose, TX, where tick presence has been observed in the ears of a variety of ungulates. To sample for nonfeeding adult stage presence, a debris-filtering method was developed using screens of varying gauges. To sample host-seeking larval-stage tick presence, a carbon dioxide (CO2 ) trap was developed using compressed CO2 released through tubing along with cotton fabric used for tick attachment. Both methods proved successful with adults and larvae collected from animal shelters, with larvae also collected from oak leaf litter away from any structure. Locating both life stages off the host is the first crucial step toward the management of this tick species at facilities such as FRWC.
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Vol. 50 • No. 5