Experimental & Applied Acarology

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 123–141 | Cite as

Development rates, fecundity and survival of developmental stages of the ticksRhipicephalus appendiculatus, Boophilus decoloratus andB. microplus under field conditions in Zimbabwe

  • N. J. Short
  • R. B. Floyd
  • R. A. I. Norval
  • R. W. Sutherst


To determine development rates, fecundity and survival ofRhipicephalus appendiculatus, Boophilus decoloratus andB. microplus, a study was carried out in long and short grass in the highveld of Zimbabwe. Engorged adult females of the three species and engorged larvae and nymphs ofR. appendiculatus were buried beneath the soil in small cages in the rainy, cool and hot seasons in 1980 and 1981. Half the number of cages were examined regularly to determine development rates and half were left undisturbed to determine survival rates and the fecundity of engorged females. Development was most rapid during warm conditions and slowest during cool conditions, but high temperatures appeared to prolong the preoviposition periods of all species. The relationship between fluctuating temperatures and rate of development in the field was defined using a least-squares procedure. Survival of engorged females was usually high, but was reduced by predation when they were not protected. Fecundity was reduced in long grass during the cool season and in short grass during the hot season. A higher percentage of eggs hatched in the rainy season than in the cool or dry seasons. The survival of engorged larvae and nymphs was usually high in all seasons. Engorged nymphs were the hardiest stage and eggs the most suceptible stage to adverse microclimatic conditions.


Cage Rainy Season Development Rate Cool Condition Warm Condition 
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Copyright information

© Elsevier Science Publishers B.V. 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. J. Short
    • 1
  • R. B. Floyd
    • 2
  • R. A. I. Norval
    • 1
  • R. W. Sutherst
    • 2
  1. 1.Veterinary Research LaboratoryCauseway(Zimbabwe)
  2. 2.Division of Entomology, Long Pocket LaboratoriesCSIROIndooroopilly(Australia)

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