Document Detail

Adaptive timing of detachment in a tick parasitizing hole-nesting birds.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22067275     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
SUMMARYIn non-permanent parasites with low intrinsic mobility such as ticks, dispersal is highly dependent on host movements as well as the timing of separation from the hosts. Optimal detachment behaviour is all the more crucial in nidicolous ticks as the risk of detaching in non-suitable habitat is high. In this study, we experimentally investigated the detachment behaviour of Ixodes arboricola, a nidicolous tick that primarily infests birds roosting in tree-holes. We infested great tits with I. arboricola larvae or nymphs, and submitted the birds to 2 experimental treatments, a control treatment in which birds had normal access to nest boxes and an experimental treatment, in which the birds were prevented access to their nest boxes for varying lengths of time. In the control group, most ticks detached within 5 days, whereas in the experimental group, ticks remained on the bird for as long as the bird was prevented access (up to 14 days). This prolonged attachment caused a decrease in survival and engorgement weight in nymphs, but not in larvae. The capacity of I. arboricola larvae to extend the duration of attachment in non-suitable environments with no apparent costs, may be an adaptation to unpredictable use of cavities by roosting hosts during winter, and at the same time may facilitate dispersal of the larval instars.
J White; D J A Heylen; E Matthysen
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-11-9
Journal Detail:
Title:  Parasitology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1469-8161     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-11-9     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0401121     Medline TA:  Parasitology     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  1-7     Citation Subset:  -    
Evolutionary Ecology Group, Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, 2020 Antwerpen, Belgium.
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