Next Article in Journal
Educating the Future of Science and Medicine
Next Article in Special Issue
The Nothoaspis amazoniensis Complete Mitogenome: A Comparative and Phylogenetic Analysis
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Immunomolecular Characterization of MIC-1, a Novel Antigen in Babesia bigemina, Which Contains Conserved and Immunodominant B-Cell Epitopes that Induce Neutralizing Antibodies
Article Menu
Issue 2 (June) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5020033

Population Dynamics of Off-Host Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (Acari: Ixodidae) Larvae in Response to Habitat and Seasonality in South Texas

1
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Cattle Fever Tick Research Laboratory, Edinburg, TX 78541, USA
2
Department of Biology, University of Texas Rio-Grande Valley, Edinburg, TX 78539, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 February 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
Full-Text   |   PDF [32524 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]   |  

Abstract

The cattle tick, Rhipicephalus microplus (Canestrini), is an economically destructive arthropod because of its ability to vector bovine babesiosis. It is known that cattle ticks can spend 80–90% of their lifecycle as questing larvae, yet the effect of climatic factors on their off-host behavior and survival is unclear. The goal of this study was to measure the effects of specific ecological factors on off-host questing larvae in nature. The study was conducted in a south Texas pasture over a two-year period, during which time larval populations were surveyed. Simultaneously, weather variables—precipitation, relative humidity, and ambient temperatures—were recorded. Larval survival rates varied among seasons, with the overall highest populations recorded in the spring and the lowest in the fall by a ratio of 20:1. In the winter, the larger numbers were collected from exposed habitats at a ratio of 6:1. Conversely, canopied habitats in the summer had 10-fold larger larval numbers. In the spring, exposed and canopied habitats showed no difference in tick larval survival rates. The results show that the interaction between season and habitat strongly influence off-host questing tick survival. Relative humidity was a key weather variable. View Full-Text
Keywords: cattle tick; ecology; habitat; climatic factors cattle tick; ecology; habitat; climatic factors
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Leal, B.; Thomas, D.B.; Dearth, R.K. Population Dynamics of Off-Host Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (Acari: Ixodidae) Larvae in Response to Habitat and Seasonality in South Texas. Vet. Sci. 2018, 5, 33.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Vet. Sci. EISSN 2306-7381 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top