Larval feeding performance of two Neotropical Ornithodoros ticks (Acari: Argasidae) on reptiles

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Abstract

This paper determines the feeding performance of the larvae of two Neotropical soft tick species namely Ornithodoros rostratus Aragão, 1911 and O. puertoricensis Fox, 1947 on reptiles (Gekkonidae) using rabbits, mice and guinea pigs to provide comparisons with feeding features on mammals. O. puertoricensis produced a larval feeding rate of 63% on reptiles, while that of O. rostratus was only 20%. But the final success (attaching + feeding) was similar, 12.4% for O. puertoricensis and 10.4% for O. rostratus. The feeding time was also very different for both species. In O. puertoricensis, detachment begins at 16th day and lasts until day 27. In O. rostratus detachment begins at 1.5 h and lasts until day 10. These values of feeding on reptiles are different from those obtained on mammals (average 5.6 days for O. puertoricensis and 2.9 for O. rostratus).

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