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Observations on the movement of fluids in the vicinity of the mouthparts of naturally feeding Dermacentor andersoni Stiles

  • J. D. Gregson (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 April 2009

Observations on the movement of fluids in the vicinity of the mouthparts of actively feeding female Dermacentor andersoni were made with the aid of trans-illuminated live-hamster pouch host-tissue. Following tick attachment and the invasion of ‘attaching cement’ into the outer skin layers, there appeared a progressive release of host blood as the tick settled into a feeding pattern. Short periods of sucking, each followed by an immediate ejaculation of saliva, became lengthened as feeding progressed, as did the resting intervals between sucking. Other movements brought about by the tick included a ‘toying’ of the tissue fluid, a rapid vibration of the same, and a distinct regurgitation of host-blood material. A sudden haemorrhage usually appeared at the feeding site about 2½ h after attachment of partially fed ticks.

Speculations are made concerning the part played by the release of tick saliva and tick water loss, its probable relationship to host paralysis, and its apparent role in tick nourishment.

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R. E. Billingham & W. K. Silvers (1963). Skin transplants and the hamster. Scient. Am. 208, 118–27.

K. Enigk & I. Grittner (1953). Zur Zucht und Biologie der Zecken. Z. ParasitKde 16, 5683.

R. B. Griffiths & R. M. Gordon (1952). An apparatus which enables the process of feeding by mosquitoes to be observed in the tissues of a live rodent; together with an account of the ejection of saliva and its significance in malaria. Ann. trop. Med. Parasit. 46, 311–19.

M. M. J. Lavoipierre & R. F. Riek (1955). Observations on the feeding habits of argasid ticks and on the effects of their bites on laboratory animals, together with a note on the production of coxal fluid by several of the species studied. Ann. trop. Med. Parasit. 49, 96113.

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