Ixodid ticks avoid contact with liquid water
Guerin, Patrick M.
Date de parution
The Journal of Experimental Biology, The Company of Biologists, 1999/202/14/1887-1883
Larvae of the cattle tick Boophilus microplus and all life stages of the European sheep tick Ixodes ricinus avoid walking on a wet membrane surface surrounding a dry patch. Of 170 reactions made at a border with liquid water by 22 B. microplus larvae, 40% consisted of immediate turns to the opposite side to bring all the legs back onto a dry patch, 41% were walks along the border, during which the ticks maintained contact with both the dry and wet zones, and 19% were returns to the dry patch after a short excursion onto the wet surround. Since contact with one front leg tip was sufficient to cause return reactions from the wet surface in most of the border contacts, the water receptor(s) that enable ticks to perceive the wet surface are probably located in terminal pore sensilla on the first-leg tarsi. Observations on the return reactions of ticks with different groups of chemosensilla masked confirmed this. Ticks have an ambiguous relationship with water: they appear to avoid direct contact with it, but they need a high humidity to compensate for any deficit in body water.
Type de publication
Resource Types::text::journal::journal article
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