Term of Award

Summer 1988

Degree Name

Master of Science

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

James H. Oliver, Jr.

Committee Member 1

Sturgis McKeever

Committee Member 2

John A. Rafter

Abstract

A comparative study of immature feeding and host preference was made among Ixodes dammini, I. scapularis and I. pacificus, using white laboratory mice, Eumeces lizards and 3-4 day old chickens as hosts. Larval feeding of each species when placed on hosts was greater (P < 0.05) on mice than on lizards (although sometimes the difference was minimal), and higher on lizards than on chickens (P < 0.05). Host preference experiments showed that larvae of the three species, when given a choice between mouse and lizard and mouse and chicken always preferred mice. When given a choice between lizard and chicken, no significant difference in host preference was seen. Ixodes dammini, I. scapularis and I. pacificus nymphs displayed no difference in feeding ability when placed on mice and lizards, but more ticks always fed on mice and lizards when compared to chickens. Nymphs of all three species also showed an equal preference for mice and lizards, but usually preferred either of these host compared to chickens (no statistical difference was found between mice and chickens for I. dammini nymphs or I. pacificus nymphs between lizards and chickens). Length of preecdysial periods for all three tick species indicates that no differences exist among each of the tick species and is not dependent on host species. Percent of ecdysis appears to show differences between tick and/or host species with the largest percentages from mice (larvae) and lizards (nymphs). Approximately, 79% of larvae and 72% of nymphs of all three species dropped from hosts between 3:00 am and 3:00 pm.

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