Mass Rearing of Radioisotope-Tagged Larval Ticks1 for Ecological Investigations2

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The results of 3 years of experience with mass rearing Radio labeled larval ticks for use in field studies are reported. Mass rearing was done with the American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis (Say); the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum (L.); and the Rocky Mountain wood tick, D. alldersoni Stiles; small numbers of tagged larvae of the rabbit tick, Haemaphysalis leporisjlalustris (Packard), also were reared. Inoculation of 10C glucose into engorged, procreant females of these 4 species was done to provide sufficient suitably tagged larvae to meet the needs of field programs, ranging from only a few thousand in I species to approximately 250,000 per year in another species. Evaluation of the mass rearing program revealed that yields of suitably tagged larvae were substantially less than predicted in previous published studies. Responsibility for the reduced yield was attributed, primarily, to decreases in transtadial transmission efficiency (eggs to larvae) and percent hatching, both of which were less than expected. Nevertheless, the planned overproduction of tagged larvae compensated for these reductions in yield (except in I instance). The program was found to be practical both in yield and economics.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 1971

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