Striped mice, Rhabdomys pumilio, were trapped over a 17 month period in the Thomas Baines
Nature Reserve in the eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Captured mice were placed in cages, over
water, and naturally detaching ticks were collected. Only 5 larvae and 1 nymph of Amblyomma
hebraeum were recovered from the mice. These represented less than 0,1 % of the total number of ticks
recovered. No Amblyomma marmoreum were recovered. As the vegetation and large mammals and
tortoises in the Thomas Baines Nature Reserve abound in larvae of both these vectors of heartwater the
low infestation rates of R. pumilio indicate that it is either unsuitable or inaccessible for these ticks. R.
pumilio is therefore unlikely to play a role in the epidemiology of heartwater.
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