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Morphological features of Ixodes persulcatus and I. ricinus hybrids: nymphs and adults


Our aim was to reveal morphological features of first-generation Ixodes persulcatus and I. ricinus hybrids (nymphs and adults) obtained under laboratory conditions for further study of natural populations of these species in sympatry foci. In 65 nymphs of three groups I. ricinus (23 specimens), I. persulcatus (21 specimens), and hybrids (21 specimens), 16 parameters were evaluated (length/width of the scutum and capitulum, length of the hypostome, palp, tarsus I, coxa I, sternal setae, and various scutal and alloscutal setae) and discrimination analysis was performed allowing differentiation of hybrid nymphs from original species. General effectiveness of classification of I. ricinus, I. persulcatus, and hybrids was >95 %. Discriminant functions are presented allowing classification of I. persulcatus, I. ricinus, and hybrid nymphs. For description of morphology, 27 adult hybrids (13 males and 14 females) were examined under a stereo microscope at 14–28× (without preparation of permanent mounts). The following morphological distinctions of hybrids from original species were described: posterior marginal groove is not clear (as in I. ricinus) and absence of syncoxa on coxa I (as in I persulcatus). In hybrid males, simultaneous absence of syncoxa on coxa I (as in I. persulcatus) and a long internal spur on coxa I (as in I. ricinus) can be used as a diagnostic feature. Based on the detected characteristics, 10 of 157 ticks collected in Karelia in I. ricinus and I. persulcatus sympatry area were classified as hybrids.

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The authors are grateful to Prof. A.V. Korosov, Department of Zoology and Ecology, Petrozavodsk State University, for consultations and helpful discussion of the results. The study was supported by the federal budget for implementation of state tasks (Project No/51.4, registration No. 01201358738). The research was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (15-34-50175 mol_nr).

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Correspondence to Sergey V. Bugmyrin.

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Bugmyrin, S.V., Belova, O.A., Bespyatova, L.A. et al. Morphological features of Ixodes persulcatus and I. ricinus hybrids: nymphs and adults. Exp Appl Acarol 69, 359–369 (2016).

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  • Tick
  • Ixodes persulcatus
  • Ixodes ricinus
  • Hybrids
  • Morphology