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ARS Home » Research » Research Project #434705

Research Project: Host Range Testing of Cattle Fever Tick Biological Control Agents

Location: Cattle Fever Tick Research

Project Number: 3094-32000-042-015-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2018
End Date: Apr 30, 2022

The objectives of this cooperative research are to: 1) develop rearing methods for cattle fever tick parasitoids imported from Asia Minor collected by EBCL cooperators and locally occurring Texas tick parasitoids; 2) conduct host range testing studies of parasitoids with cattle fever ticks and closely related surrogate tick species; and 3) conduct y-tube olfactometer testing to determine parasitoid preference behaviors and how this applies to host range.

Rearing, host range, and behavioral studies of tick parasitoids will be conducted in the arthropod containment facilities at Moore Airbase, Edinburg, TX. If Asian tick parasitoid species are not available, we will test locally occurring tick parasitoids as surrogates. Micro-rearing techniques for parasitoids, using detached ticks in petri-dishes will be evaluated. The host range of tick parasitoids will be evaluated using no-choice host exposures of cattle fever ticks and related non-target tick species. Behavioral studies of parasitoids, specifically host seeking behaviors, will be determined for host animal volatiles (cattle, nilgai, deer, water buffalo) using a Y-tube olfactometer.