Ticks of Alabama: the fauna and spatial distribution of medically important species across the state
The last statewide survey of hard ticks in Alabama was in 1972. To address this deficit, we examined the distribution of the medically important species across the state, (Say), (Say), (L.), and (Koch), between April, 2018 and February, 2021. Collections primarily involved dragging (April to July) and examination of harvested deer (November to February). A total of 2,927 ticks was collected from 110 sites; three species, and , represented 91.70% of all ticks collected. and were the most common species encountered in drags; dominated deer collections. was never found on deer, whereas was only found on deer. Stepwise regression (AIC) of drag data was linked to several site variables. Results suggest a linear response along a south (low abundance) to north (high abundance) gradient, in addition to increased abundance at sites with lower temperatures and greater precipitation and canopy cover.