Faculté des sciences

The Dynamics of an Avoidance Behavior by Ixodid Ticks to Liquid Water

Kröber, Thomas ; Guerin, Patrick M.

In: Journal of Insect Behavior, 2000, vol. 13, no. 3, p. 397-420

Life stages of different tick species avoid walking on a wet surface surrounding a dry patch by systematically returning to the dry each time they contact the wet surface beyond the border with the tip of a first leg tarsus. Sequential analysis of the border behaviors shows that repetitive contact with the water increases the probability of walks astride the border. Ticks accept this unilateral... Plus

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    Summary
    Life stages of different tick species avoid walking on a wet surface surrounding a dry patch by systematically returning to the dry each time they contact the wet surface beyond the border with the tip of a first leg tarsus. Sequential analysis of the border behaviors shows that repetitive contact with the water increases the probability of walks astride the border. Ticks accept this unilateral contact with the water for longer intervals and eventually walk on to the wet surface after a combination of a short patch walk followed by a border walk which is longer than the foregoing ones. Staying time on a small circular patch is shorter than on a large one, arising probably from faster adaptation of peripheral receptors following a higher frequency of border contacts. However, an equal number of border reactions on patches of different sizes and shapes suggests that a counter in the CNS may also influence dry patch departure.