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A comparison of live and destructive sampling methods of determining the size of parasitic tick populations

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Abstract

The accuracy of a general and a specific method of collecting and counting ixodid ticks on live hosts was compared with that of a destructive technique which can only be applied to dead animals. Destructive sampling provided considerably more accurate results than either of the live sampling methods when applied to domestic goats (Capra hircus) and a duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia).

The smaller the life stage and the tick species the less likely it is that it will be recovered by either of the live sampling techniques. Both live and destructive sampling yielded similar results for adultAmblyomma hebraeum, a large tick.

A sub-sampling method, used to estimate larval numbers, was repeatable and an accurate predictor of population size for populations ranging from 50 to 1000 of unengorgedA. hebraeum larvae.

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MacIvor, K.M., Horak, I.G., Holton, K.C. et al. A comparison of live and destructive sampling methods of determining the size of parasitic tick populations. Exp Appl Acarol 3, 131–143 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01270475

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