T. Barton, M. Harris, S. Wanless
Sep 1, 1995
Experimental & Applied Acarology
Daily searches of the plumage of 62 kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) chicks were carried out for 3 weeks to determine the attachment duration of the tick Ixodes uriae. All ticks recorded were nymphs and their mean duration of attachment was 5.2±1.7 days (n=93). Seventy-four per cent of the ticks survived to engorgement and were assumed to have fed successfully. The mean duration of attachment of successful ticks was 5.8±1.0 days (n=69), significantly longer than that of unsuccessful ticks (3.3±2.1 days, n=24). There was no difference in survival rates to engorgement between ticks attached to feathered and unfeathered parts of the body (78.3 and 79.2%, respectively), but the duration of attachment of successful ticks was significantly longer on unfeathered compared to feathered areas. There were no significant differences in the survival to engorgement or duration of attachment between ticks found on young (c.≤11 days) and old (>11 days) kittiwake nestlings. The attachment duration was not related to the total number of ticks found on the host or the number of ticks present in the immediate vicinity of the site of attachment. This work provides important data on the parameter of attachment durations of nymphal I. uriae on free-living kittiwakes; the data can be used for incorporation into the application of population modelling.