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Exp Appl Acarol. 2002;28(1-4):163-8.

Photoperiodic control of developmental diapause in nymphs of prostriate ixodid ticks (Acari: Ixodidae).

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  • 1Department of Entomology Biological Research Institute, St. Petersburg State University, Stary Peterhof, St. Petersburg 198504, Russia.


Extrinsic control of developmental diapause in nymphs of prostriate ticks of the subgenus Ixodes sensu stricto (Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes persulcatus from Eurasia and Ixodes scapularis from North America) appears to be based on a complex two-step photoperiodic reaction of a short-day/long-day type. Diapause control in the subgenus Afrixodes (the South African tick Ixodes rubicundus) appears to be based on a simple long-day reaction. The option between non-diapause development and diapausing arrest in engorged nymphs is determined by both pre- and post-feeding photoperiodic regimes. Consequently diapausing arrest in engorged nymphs of Ixodes sensu stricto can be induced either by a short-day (after their engorgement) or by a long-day regime (in unfed nymphs), while active, non-diapause development is possible only when the short-day pre-feeding regime is followed by a long-day post-feeding regime. The photoperiodic response in I. (Afrixodes) rubicundus nymphs seems to be of the long-day type both before and after feeding. Consequently this non-diapause development is enabled by a long-day regime, while diapause is induced by a short-day regime of exposure. Nevertheless, there are some indications that the control of nymphal diapause in the latter species is also of a complex nature.

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