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Life cycle of the southern cattle tick, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus Canestrini 1888 (Acari: Ixodidae) under laboratory conditions

Haytham Senbill, Lakshmi Kanta Hazarika, Aiswarya Baruah, Deepak Kumar Borah, Badal Bhattacharyya, Sahidur Rahman


The southern cattle tick, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus is one of the most important tick species affecting bovine wealth worldwide. Three uninterrupted generations of this species were observed under laboratory conditions (28±3 oC and 80±5% R.H.) using rabbit hosts. The average life cycle was determined as 65±8 days. Adult feeding period averaged 7.1±1.24 days. Pre-oviposition and oviposition periods averaged 4.1±1.3 days and 8.6±0.85 days, respectively. Pre-hatching periods averaged 21.03±2.99 days. Larval free-living and feeding to moulting periods averaged 3.5±0.75 days and 7.9±0.69 days, respectively. Nymphal feeding to moulting periods averaged 10.9±1.38 days. Weights of unfed and fed females averaged 1.26±0.29 mg and 120.32±45.6 mg, respectively and produced egg masses with average weights of 29.5±9.03 mg. Number of eggs per female averaged 1455.3±434.5 eggs with peak oviposition on the 3rd day. Average hatching rate was 83.5±2.94%, and the reproduction efficiency index averaged at 12.79±2.85. The conversion efficiency index averaged at 0.26±0.05 and the reproduction fitness index averaged at 10.68±2.4. Tick recovery rate averaged at 4.7%. A strong linear relationship was found between weights of engorged females and weights of egg masses (r = 0.83) and also between weights of engorged females and number of eggs laid (r = 0.82). This work aims to describe temporal and quantitative biological facts of R. (B.) microplus life cycles. Few studies have discussed R. (B.) microplus biology in quantitative terms, and these data can be useful in designing control plans or in epidemiological studies under laboratory conditions.


Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, biology, life cycle, Cattle, Tick


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