Send to

Choose Destination
Med Vet Entomol. 2004 Dec;18(4):387-97.

Phenology of the tick, Ixodes ricinus, in its southern distribution range (central Spain).

Author information

Department of Parasitology, Veterinary Faculty, Zaragoza, Spain.


The abundance, seasonal activity patterns and development rates of the tick Ixodes ricinus (L.) (Acari: Ixodidae), as well as microclimate features of the site of study, are described for a 9-year-long study (1994-2002) in north-central Spain. According to drag captures, larvae had a unimodal activity pattern, with a maximum observed around July-August, whereas nymphs displayed a bimodal pattern (May-June and August-September) with strong dominance of spring activity. An inversion of this pattern, with larger autumn peak, was observed in years with humid summers. Adults showed a small spring peak and a large autumn one. In the later years of the study, a small increase in the adult spring peak of activity was noticed, correlated with mild winters. Over the entire period of study, a clear increase in the total tick abundance was detected. Statistically significant differences between years were observed for some climate variables (saturation deficit, winter temperatures and number of days with temperatures above 6 degrees C), but a consistent and constant pattern of change was not observed in any climate variable. Temperature requirements for developing stages showed a sharp decrease in weeks 35-51 (eggs) and 38-50 (larvae and nymphs), a feature attributed to the presence of the morphogenetic diapause, beginning around September. Development rates obtained under quasi-natural conditions were almost twice those reported for other sites, suggesting an adaptation of this local, largely isolated I. ricinus population. According to drag captures and field-obtained development rates, interchange of nymphs between the two cohorts is common in this site, and seems to be influenced by the winter temperature and the date of larval engorgement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center