Investigation of the parasitoid Ixodiphagus hookeri (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) in Amblyomma sculptum (Acari: Ixodidae) ticks in the municipality of Salto, São Paulo, Brazil


ABSTRACT The presence of capybaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) in urban and periurban areas has caused increased numbers of cases of Brazilian spotted fever. With the aim of investigating the presence of the parasitoid Ixodiphagus hookeri in Amblyomma sculptum ticks in the municipality of Salto, state of São Paulo, samples were collected monthly from 14 sites. Thirty samples were placed in containers for observation of the emergence of microhymenopterans and 88 samples were subjected to molecular testing to identify the presence of I. hookeri DNA. Neither dissections nor observation of emergence indicated any presence of I. hookeri larvae in ticks. Samples subjected to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of the mCOX I region of I. hookeri did not reveal its presence, although fragments corresponding to mRNA 16S of Amblyomma sculptum ticks were amplified in all samples tested.



microhymenopterans, biological control, polymerase chain reaction