Dermacentor hunteri (Acari: Ixodidae): Seasonal Variation in Questing Adults and On-Host Juvenile Stages, and Host Associations and Feeding Behavior of Larvae and Nymphs

Paul R. Crosbie, Walter M Boyce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Dermacentor hunteri Bishopp is the only completely desert adapted tick in the Nearctic realm, and chiefly parasitizes desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis Shaw) as an adult. The remainder of its life history has been unknown. We conducted field investigations in the Sonoran desert of the temporal and spatial variation of adult host-seeking ticks and of the host associations of juvenile ticks. Additionally, the feeding success of juvenile ticks was assessed in the laboratory. Adult ticks were found in significant numbers only in plateau and rocky slopes habitats, chiefly during the period from January to June. Questing adults were not found in July and August, and they were present in small numbers from September through December. Juvenile stages were found only on desert woodrats, Neotoma lepida Thomas (larvae and nymphs), and cactus mice, Peromyscus eremicus Baird (larvae only), in March, May, and early June. In the laboratory; both larvae and nymphs fed on N. lepida, but only larvae fed on P. maniculatus bairdii (Wagner). We concluded that the life history of D. hunteri may be constrained by the co-distribution of desert bighorn, desert woodrats, and perhaps cactus mice; and that adults oversummer either on desert bighorn or sequestered in favorable microclimates off the host.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1034-1043
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Medical Entomology
Volume35
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1998

Keywords

  • Dermacentor hunteri
  • Desert bighorn sheep
  • Life history
  • Neotoma lepida
  • Peromyscus eremicus
  • Seasonal variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • veterinary(all)

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