Occurrence of Ixodiphagus hookeri (Hymenoptera Encyrtidae) in Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae) in Southern Italy

Rafael Antonio Nascimento Ramos, Bronwyn Evelyn Campbell, Alice Whittle, Riccardo Paolo Lia, Fabrizio Montarsi, Antonio Parisi, Filipe Dantas-Torres, Richard Wall, Domenico Otranto*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Natural enemies of ticks include the parasitoid wasp Ixodiphagus hookeri (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae). The aim of this preliminary study was to investigate the occurrence of I. hookeri DNA in a community of ticks ( Ixodes ricinus, Dermacentor marginatus, Hyalomma marginatum, Haemaphysalis inermis and Rhipicephalus turanicus). From May 2010 to March 2012, ticks were collected monthly by dragging and flagging, identified, and 481 adults and 305 nymphs screened molecularly for infection with I. hookeri. Of the samples tested ( n = 786), 3.1% ( n = 25) were positive for I. hookeri DNA, 7.2% ( n = 22) in nymphs and 0.6% ( n = 3) in adults. I. hookeri DNA was only detected in I. ricinus. This study shows that I. hookeri infests I. ricinus in southern Italy, with nymphs being the main developmental stage affected by this wasp.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-236
Number of pages3
JournalTicks and Tick-borne Diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015


  • Ixodiphagus
  • Molecular identification
  • Parasitoid
  • Ticks


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