Ticks were collected from 191 cheetahs at three breeding centres in North West and
Limpopo Provinces, South Africa. Haemaphysalis elliptica, a common tick of large felids, was
the most abundant species collected, while Amblyomma hebraeum and Rhipicephalus simus
occurred in lower numbers. In addition to these three species, drag-sampling of the
vegetation revealed the presence of Amblyomma marmoreum, Rhipicephalus (B.)
decoloratus and Rhipicephalus zambeziensis. The presence of free-ranging antelopes, murid
rodents and tortoises at the breeding centres probably contributed to the availability of
immature tick stages on the vegetation. Diurnal and seasonal questing patterns of ixodid
ticks were investigated at monthly intervals at the largest cheetah-breeding centre.
Questing ticks were most abundant on the vegetation during the warm summer months.
Most questing H. elliptica larvae and nymphs were collected from the vegetation in the early
morning and late afternoon and fewest during the middle of the day.