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Ixodes ricinus (Ixodidae), an occasional phoront on necrophagous and coprophagous beetles in Europe

Saloña-Bordas, M. I., Bahillo de la Puebla, P., Díaz Martín, B., Sumner, J. and Perotti, M. A. ORCID: (2015) Ixodes ricinus (Ixodidae), an occasional phoront on necrophagous and coprophagous beetles in Europe. Experimental and Applied Acarology, 65 (2). pp. 243-248. ISSN 0168-8162

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s10493-014-9867-y


For ticks, phoretic behaviour using insects associated with vertebrates might offer an alternative strategy to host-seeking. Here we report for the first time the presence of immature stages of the most widespread tick species in Western Europe, Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae), on three beetle species belonging to families Silphidae and Geotrupidae (Coleoptera). Specimens were collected while performing fieldwork surveys on insect diversity during the peak of tick’s questing behaviour, therefore, in July and August of 2009 and 2010. The collections took place in two Natural Parks, the Aiako Harria, Guipúzcoa in Northern Spain and Wellington Country Park, Berkshire, in England. The silphid species Nicrophorus vespilloides, together with the geotrupid Trypocopris pyrenaeus were both collected from pig-carcasses and both carried nymphs of I. ricinus; while, the geotrupid Anoplotrupes stercorosus was carrying a tick larva while feeding on Red deer dung. These findings revealed an unnoticed but common relation of ticks not only with decomposed animals but also with insect scavengers. We discuss the rationale of this phenomenon.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
ID Code:38445

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