Biological parameters for Rhipicephalus microplus in the field and laboratory and estimation of its annual number of generations in a tropical region

Abstract

The present study aimed to evaluate biological parameters of Rhipicephalus microplus in the non-parasitic phase in both field and laboratory conditions. It also aimed to assess correlations between duration (in days) of these parameters and climatic variables (humidity, rainfall, and soil temperature) and to estimate the annual number of generations of R. microplus in a tropical region. The non-parasitic phase of R. microplus in field and laboratory conditions was evaluated throughout the course of two years. A pasture was infested with engorged female of R. microplus, and biological parameters, including female pre-oviposition, female oviposition, egg mass incubation, larval pre-hatching phase, larval maturation, and larval longevity, were evaluated concomitantly with the collection of data on climatic conditions. The same parameters were also evaluated in a climatized chamber in the laboratory. The total duration of the non-parasitic phase in the field was longer in the dry season (1st and 4th life-cycle repetitions) than in the rainy season (2nd, 3rd, and 5th repetitions). Tick biological parameters for the non-parasitic phase in the laboratory were similar to those obtained in the field during the rainy season. The evaluated biological parameters were influenced mainly by environmental and ground-level temperatures, which modified egg mass incubation, larval pre-hatching, and larval longevity periods and, consequently, the total duration of the non-parasitic phase of the tick. The annual number of generations for the tick was estimated at five per year, which is alarming because it represents an increase, and so new studies into strategic control are needed.

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Acknowledgments

Data on this paper are part of a Ph.D. thesis fully supported by the São Paulo Research Foundation (grant #2014/14820-2, São Paulo Research Foundation—FAPESP). CPPAR provided the infrastructure for this experiment. The authors would like to thank Drs. Marcos Valério Garcia, Marcos Rogério André, Darci Moraes Barros-Battesti, Cláudio Alesandro Massamitsu Sakamoto, and Claudinei da Cruz, for their extensive help in proofreading and correcting the article, the mentioned thesis.

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Correspondence to Welber Daniel Zanetti Lopes.

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Cruz, B.C., de Lima Mendes, A.F., Maciel, W.G. et al. Biological parameters for Rhipicephalus microplus in the field and laboratory and estimation of its annual number of generations in a tropical region. Parasitol Res (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-020-06758-5

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Keywords

  • Cattle tick
  • Humidity
  • Parasitism
  • Rainfall
  • Saturation deficit
  • Temperature