Original Research

Population structure of Argas arboreus (Acari : Argasidae) ticks associated with seasonally abandoned mixed heronries, dominated by cattle egrets (Bubulcus ibis), in South Africa

V.N. Belozerov, D.J. Van Niekerk, H.J.B. Butler
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 70, No 4 | a297 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v70i4.297 | © 2003 V.N. Belozerov, D.J. Van Niekerk, H.J.B. Butler | This work is licensed under CC Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0
Submitted: 08 November 2003 | Published: 08 November 2003

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V.N. Belozerov,
D.J. Van Niekerk,
H.J.B. Butler,

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Abstract

During winter populations of Argas arboreus from heronries of the cattle egret, Bubulcus ibis, in South Africa are composed of adults, with some predominance of males, and II-IV instar nymphs, in a state of diapause. The period of tick activity, including reproduction and development of eggs, larvae and N1 nymphs, is synchronized with the nesting and breeding season of their avian hosts. It begins during spring with the return of birds to the heronry, and ceases in autumn through induction of reproductive diapause in engorged females, and behavioural diapause in unfed nymphs and adult ticks. Many ticks showed morphological anomalies and malformations, the study of which could possibly be used for monitoring of environmental pollution.

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