2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

Life Cycle of Amblyomma americanum: Lab vs Wild
Brian Ruiz
Dr. Laura Fielden-Rechav, Faculty Mentor

Much of our knowledge of the biology of ticks is based on experimentation using ticks that have been bred under laboratory conditions for many generations. However, the accuracy with which laboratory tick life parameters reflect wild populations has not been validated. Such comparisons are very important in cases where laboratory derived information is an important part of the development of effective control strategies against ticks. This study compares the life cycle of the tick Amblyomma americanum from both wild and lab populations. We measured parameters including weight of unfed ticks, duration of feeding period, engorgement weight, molting success and egg production of ticks fed on rabbit hosts. Wild immature ticks fed longer and took larger blood meals than the lab populations. However, no difference was noted between blood meal size and egg production between the adult wild and laboratory populations. Thus life cycle parameters of laboratory-reared adult ticks can be considered to accurately reflect those of wild populations but caution must be exercised in studies involving the immature stages.

Keywords: Amblyomma americanum, life cycle, parameters

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 3-12
Location: OP Lobby
Time: 4:15

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