Background: Ticks are hematophagous arthropods which normally attach to the surface of the skin of the host. Their aberrant presence in the subcutaneous tissue of a few carnivores, predominantly foxes has been reported. However, there are no reports in other carnivores such as mustelids or golden jackals. Our aim was to investigate and broaden the host spectrum for this aberrant localization of ticks.
Methods: Between 2015 and 2020, 198 carnivore carcasses from 12 species were examined by parasitological necropsy. When subcutaneous ticks were found, the nodules were removed, carefully dissected, and stored in ethanol. The morphological identification of the subcutaneous ticks was carried out to the species level.
Results: A single subcutaneous tick was found in one carcass, a golden jackal. The tick was identified as a female Ixodes ricinus. All the other carcasses were negative for the presence of subcutaneous ticks.
Conclusion: The present paper represents the first report of a subcutaneous tick in a golden jackal (Canis aureus), extends the host spectrum for this unusual phenomenon and reinforces its presence only in canids among carnivores.