Survival of six species of African ticks in relation to saturation deficits
Publication Year:
The survival of unfed males and females of six species of African ticks was monitored at five different saturation deficits at constant temperature (25°C). The survivorship curves for each species comprised a pre-mortality period, prior to when ticks started to die and a mortality period corresponding to a rapid increase in the mortality rate. Longevity was defined as pre-mortality plus mortality. A negative correlation between the longevity of the ticks and the saturation deficits was found with ticks surviving longer at lower deficits. The survival of males and females was similar. At low saturation deficits (2-4 mmHg) Amblyomma hebraeum survived the longest periods (74 weeks). Some correlation was found between the tick survival under dehydrating conditions and habitat associations. Rhipicephalus appendiculatus and Haemaphysalis leachii, the most mesic in distribution, had the shortest longevity (21 and 13 weeks, respectively) at high saturation deficits (7-21 mmHg). Hyalomma marginatum rufipes, the most xerophilic in distribution, had the longest survival (39.3°10.5 weeks) at high saturation deficits. Other factors apart from the adult survival should be taken into account when accounting for the tick distribution, in particular the tolerance of earlier developmental stages to desiccation. Keywords: Water balance, saturation deficits, humidity, survival, African Ixodidae.
Publication Title:
Experimental and Applied Acarology
625 - 637
Item Type:
Journal Article

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