Giant 'hunter' tic found in Sweden for first time

By On August 25, 2018

Giant 'hunter' tic found in Sweden for first time

The three Hyalomma tics were sent in August to a team led by Giulio Grandi, a researcher at the National Veterinary Institute in Uppsala, from enthusiasts in Landskrona in SkÃ¥ne, Nyköping in Södermanland, and Koppom i in Värmland. When fully engorged with blood, they can grow to up to 2cm in length. “They are giant tics,” told Swedish broadcaster Sveriges Radio. “They are very fast, and they are hunters who do not just sit and wait for their host but instead actively look after a host to attack.” The tics can spread Crimeanâ€"Congo hemorrhagic fever, among other diseases. But Ann Albihn, an associate professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences who is also working on the project, said that the chances of contracting the deadly virus in Sweden remained very low. She said the species may already be adapting. “This tic has perhaps discovered a new trick for surviving the the tough Swedish climate,” she said. “They have perhaps learnt to spend the winter inside.” Hyalomma tics are thought to have originated in the north of Iran or in Central Asia, and have since spread into Asia, the Middle East, Southern Europe and Africa. Grandi said the Hyalomma tics could have been carried to Sweden by migrating birds. The tics have been received as part of a multi-year project studying how climate change might affect diseases in Sweden. Some 2,000 living and dead tics have been sent by post to Grandi and his team by enthusiasts wishing to take aid the research. Albihn said that the project was already challenging the previous understanding of tic distribution in the country. “We have strong indications that there are tics much further north and higher up in the mountains than we had thought,” she said.Source: Google News Sweden | Netizen 24 Sweden

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