First report of a blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say (Acari: Ixodidae), parasitizing a raptor in Canada

John D. Scott, Janet E Foley, Monica R. Young, Lance A. Durden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We document the first report of a blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis Say, parasitizing an American Kestrel, Falco sparverius Linnaeus (Falconiformes: Falconidae), in Canada. A fully engorged I. scapularis nymph was collected from the base of the tongue of an American Kestrel nestling recovered at Mirabel, Québec. This nestling had recently fledged the nest, and was exposed to I. scapularis immatures that were host-seeking in the surrounding low-level vegetation. DNA barcoding was used to confirm the identification of the tick. Primers of the flagellin (fla) gene were employed to determine whether the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) Johnson, Schmid, Hyde, Steigerwalt & Brenner, was present in the I. scapularis nymph; the tick was negative. We provide the first report of I. scapularis parasitizing a raptor in Canada and, likewise, the first account of this tick species attached to the oral cavity of a bird. Moreover, this bird parasitism is the first documentation of a tick on a falconid bird in Canada.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-216
Number of pages9
JournalSystematic and Applied Acarology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017


  • American Kestrel
  • bird parasitism
  • blacklegged tick
  • Canada
  • DNA barcoding
  • Falco sparverius
  • Ixodes scapularis
  • raptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Insect Science


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