Journal:2005. 13 (1)
MATING ACTIVITY AND PHYSIOLOGICAL AGE OF FEMALES IN POPULATION OF IXODES RICINUS (L.) (ACARI: IXODIDAE)
About authors:N. Mikulova, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of South Bohemia, Branisovska 31,370 05 Ceske Budejovice,
Acknowledgments:This research was supported by the research project of the Institute of Parasitology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic No. Z 60220518 and the Grant No. 206/04/0751 of the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic. The authors would like to thank Marina Golovchenko for translating the abstract to Russian.
Annotation:Four categories of physiological age were distinguished in females of Ixodes ricinus (L.) according to the morphological characteristics: newly emerged, physiologically young, mature and old ones. No newly emerged females were collected in the field by flagging. Spring and summer cohorts of young females were recorded during the season. The peak occurrence of mature females followed the peaks for young females. Old females occurred mainly during the second half of the season. The mean weight of unfed young females was higher than that of mature and old females. From 25±5 females investigated each week, the number of mated ones started at 11.1 % in March and reached 92.3% in June. A considerable decrease in the number of mated females during August and September up to 40% was followed by an increase to 65%) at the end of season. Only 6 of 25 (24%) mated laboratory females fully engorged without males in contrast to 23 (92%) females engorging with males. The mean weight of fully engorged females feeding together with males was significantly higher (0.30 g) than of females feeding without males (0.24 g). Male presence during feeding of mated female increased the success of female feeding.
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