Volume 35, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



To test the possibility that immature deer ticks () may concentrate in the nests of their mouse hosts, we recorded their pattern of detachment. In laboratory experiments, most engorged larvae (>90%) and nymphs (>80%) detached from hamsters between 1200–2000 hours when the 14-hr photophase began at 0600 hours. Time of drop-off was similar regardless of when ticks attached to hosts, but attachment late in the day delayed drop-off by one full day. Ticks detached similarly from naturally-infested . A post-attachment cue or cues appeared to regulate time of detachment. Such synchronous diurnal detachment may serve to concentrate ticks in the nests of their nocturnal mouse hosts, thereby enhancing pathogen transmission.


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