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Biological differences between two allopatric populations of Amblyomma cajennense (Acari: Ixodidae) in Argentina

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The fertility of hybrids from two distinct populations of Amblyomma cajennense from different ecological regions of Northern Argentina was analyzed. Two colonies of A. cajennense from El Rey National Park (RNP), Salta Province (24º41′S, 64º36′W), and Copo National Park (CNP), Santiago del Estero Province (25º55′S, 61º43′W) were established infesting rabbits with adults collected from vegetation. Reproductive parameters of the first generation in laboratory of each colony and their crosses were evaluated considering engorged weight of females, engorged period of females, pre-oviposition period of females, minimum egg incubation period, reproductive efficiency index [REI = number of eggs laid/weight of the females in mg], and fertility efficiency index [FEI = number of hatched larvae/weight of the females in mg]. Infestations were made as follows: Group 1) RNP males and females; Group 2) CNP males and females; Group 3) males from CNP and females from RNP; Group 4) males from RNP and females from CNP. The engorgement weight of the females from CNP that mated with males from RNP was significantly lighter than those of the engorged females obtained in the other 3 crosses, and the engorged period of the females from CNP that mated with males from RNP was significantly longer that the engorged period of the females belonging to the remaining groups. The females from group 3 and 4 had a FEI extremely low in comparison with the FEI obtained from the engorged females originated from the groups 1 and 2. Biological implication of these findings is discussed.

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Laboratory assistance of Estefania Ugarte, Fernando Seguro and Pablo Salusso is acknowledged.

We are grateful to INTA, Asociación Cooperadora INTA Rafaela and CONICET for the financial support.

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Correspondence to Santiago Nava.

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Mastropaolo, M., Nava, S., Guglielmone, A.A. et al. Biological differences between two allopatric populations of Amblyomma cajennense (Acari: Ixodidae) in Argentina. Exp Appl Acarol 53, 371–375 (2011).

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