Meteorological Factors Regulating the Population Expansion and Contraction of Amblyomma maculatum (Acari: Ixodidae) in Texas
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The interaction of tick species and the microclimate that they inhabit is a subject that is frequently studied. The known biology of the Gulf Coast tick, Amblyomma maculatum Koch (Acari: Ixodidae), was used to conduct analyses to determine which meteorological factors regulate Gulf Coast tick survivorship in an area of Texas that is known for reduced occurrence of this tick species. Gulf Coast tick collection records, that indicated the collection of a single tick or multiple ticks from one animal or multiple animals at livestock markets, were obtained from the Texas Animal Health Commission. These records were used as an indicator of adult Gulf Coast tick abundance during each year in the 90 county study area and were used as the dependent variable in linear, quadratic, and cubic regression analyses. Independent variables used in these analyses were precipitation and differing drought thresholds during the peak activity time of the four life stages of the Gulf Coast tick and during combined life stage peak activity times. Linear, quadratic, and cubic regression analyses to measure the effect of precipitation during differing peak activity times of the Gulf Coast tick on adult Gulf Coast tick collection records were not statistically significant. These three regression analyses were also used to measure the effect of increasing drought thresholds, measured using a Keetch-Byram Drought Index, on adult Gulf Coast tick collection records. A determination was made that increasing drought thresholds during the peak activity time of differing Gulf Coast tick life stages reduce the number of Gulf Coast tick collection records the following year.
Coburn, Jordan McQuade (2009). Meteorological Factors Regulating the Population Expansion and Contraction of Amblyomma maculatum (Acari: Ixodidae) in Texas. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from