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Exp Appl Acarol. 2000 Aug;24(8):631-43.

Host utilization and seasonal occurrence of Dermacentor species (Acari:Ixodidae) in Missouri, USA.

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  • 1US Army Medical Component, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand.


A total of 3,235 Dermacentor variabilis (Say) specimens were collected from birds, mammals, and by dragging vegetation, and 2,683 D. albipictus (Packard) ticks were collected from deer from 1993 to 1996. Peak seasonal occurrence of adult D. variabilis was from May through July with a precipitous decrease in August. Nymphal D. variabilis populations peaked in June. Peak activity of larvae was bimodal, with one activity peak during late summer (September) and a second peak in winter or early spring. The raccoon, Procyon lotor (L.), was the principal host of adults followed by the Virginia opossum, Didelphis virginiana Kerr. Rodents and the eastern cottontail rabbit, Sylvilagus floridanus (J. A. Allen), were the primary hosts of nymphs. The marsh rice rat, Oryzomys palustris (Harlan), was the principal host of larvae followed by the pine vole, Microtus pinetorum (Le Conte), and white-footed mouse, Peromyscus leucopus (Rafinesque). All stages of D. albipictus were found only on white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmermann). Numbers of adult and nymphal D. albipictus peaked in November, whereas larvae peaked in September.

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