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Title: Effects of Vegetation Microclimate on Larval Cattle Fever Tick Survival

item Tasha, Perry
item Schuster, Greta
item Hewitt, David
item Ortega, Alfonso
item Campbell, Tyler
item Phillips, Pamela

Submitted to: Livestock Insect Worker's Conference Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/12/2011
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Cattle Fever Ticks (CFT), Rhipicephalus annulatus and R. microplus, have been a threat to the livestock industry for many years. These ticks are vectors of cattle fever, a disease produced by the hemoparasite Babesia bovis and B. bigemina. Laboratory research on CFT larval survival has shown that combinations of temperature and relative humidity levels impact the survival for R. annulatus and R. microplus. The objective of this study is to determine the temperature and relative humidity levels in three different vegetation types in Zapata, TX, and how areas favorable to CFT larval survival change with season. These data will be used to apply laboratory results of larval survival to vegetation types in the study area. Satellite imagery will be used to identify areas of varying vegetation types for placement of the HOBO Data Loggers®, which will collect temperature and relative humidity in the vegetation types every 15 minutes. Sampling for CFT larvae will be conducted once a month by completing transects around each HOBO field site. This will provide data on CFT larvae presence in the study area during seasonal changes in temperature and humidity levels. These data will provide a better understanding of why CFT infestations have risen drastically in the past few years.