2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

The Seasonal Pattern of Tick Load (Dermacentor variabilis) on Peromyscus leucopus
Inga C. Storen
Dr. Stephanie Fore, Dr. Laura Fielden, and Dr. Hyun-Joo Kim, Faculty Mentors

Peromyscus leucopus (white-footed mouse) in North America is an important host for the larval and nymphal stages of Dermacentor variabilis (dog tick). The aim of this study was to determine if there was seasonal variation in tick load on P. leucopus. Mice were captured on two sampling grids, each with 104 sampling points, in Adair County, Missouri. Trapping sessions were three trap nights every other month from June 2006 to December 2008 (16 total). Ticks were collected from mice and identified to species and life stage. Data suggest a seasonal variation in tick load and variation between sampling sites. Both sites showed a peak in larval tick load in August 2006 and April 2008, while only one site showed a peak in April 2007. Variation in tick load between sites might be related to habitat variables while variation among sampling periods is likely related to tick life cycle parameters.

Keywords: Dermacentor variabilis, Peromyscus leucopus, Tick load, Seasonal variation

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 21-1
Location: VH 1408
Time: 9:45

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