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Time of repletion of subadult Ixodes ricinus ticks feeding on diverse hosts.

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Abstract

For a comparison of the times of day at which the subadult stages of Ixodes ricinus detach from nocturnal vs diurnal hosts, these ticks were placed on a variety of indigenous and experimental animals. The time of detachment appears to depend more on properties of the host than on the periodicity of tick behavior. Ticks on rodents, regardless of host periodicity, tended to detach late in the afternoon; those on the hedgehog detached around midnight, and those on lizards and birds, during the morning. Ticks on carnivores (dog, cat) detached throughout the daylight hours. The ability of these parasites to survive to the next developmental stage and, ultimately, to come into contact with another suitable host may be influenced by the identity of the host and, hence, by the circumstances of detachment. Subadult I. ricinus probably concentrate in the host’s nest when feeding on mammals but are scattered over the ground when feeding on lizard or avian hosts, an aspect of engorgement behavior that may profoundly affect the capacity of this tick as a vector of agents of
Lyme disease and other infections.

Parasitol Res. 1990;76(6):540-4. Comparative Study; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t; Research Support, U.S. Gov’t, P.H.S.

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