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Attractivity of cattle infested by Amblyomma variegatum (Acari : Ixodidae) for conspecific adult ticks from the field in Guadeloupe

Barré N., Naves M., Aprelon R., Fargetton M., L'Hostis M.. 1998. Experimental and Applied Acarology, 22 : p. 297-308.

DOI: 10.1023/A:1006078717952

Four field experiments were conducted with creole cattle in Guadeloupe to study the attractivity for adult ticks of animals previously infested with males of Amblyomma variegatum producing aggregation attachment pheromones (AAPs). In each experiment, two groups of cattle were used; the first group was infested with adult A. variegatum and the second group was kept free of ticks and pheromones by acaricidal treatment and by washing the hair and skin of previously infested sites. Both groups were then exposed to natural infestation by ticks present in the environment or by ticks bred in the laboratory and released on the pasture. The number of additional ticks infesting animals were compared between the treated and control groups. There were no significant differences between both groups in the numbers of new mate ticks infesting the animals during the first days following the beginning of the experiment. Thereafter, comparison of the slopes of infestation indicated that infested cattle were no more attractive for male ticks than uninfested hosts. Uninfested cattle were spontaneously and rapidly infested by male ticks. It is concluded that carbon dioxide or another host component was a major attractant for A. variegatum males. Female ticks attached on predilection sites exclusively in the presence of AAP-producing males, i.e. 5-10 days after the attachment of the first males. Based on these results we postulate that slow-release devices impregnated with pheromones have no additional attractive effect on A. variegatum males under Caribbean conditions. However, they may be useful in inducing the attachment of females, but only in the first days preceding the arrival of pioneer AAP-producing males.

Mots-clés : bovin; amblyomma variegatum; relation hôte parasite; attractif; phéromone; guadeloupe; france

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