The nymph of the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus) is an important bridging vector of the Lyme disease spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) to humans in the far-western United States. The previously unknown dispersal capabilities of this life stage were studied in relation to logs, tree trunks, and adjacent leaf-litter areas in a mixed hardwood forest using mark-release-recapture methods. In two spatially and temporally well-spaced trials involving logs, the estimated mean distances that nymphs dispersed ranged from ≈0.04 to 0.20 m/day on logs vs 0.11 to 0.72 m/day in litter. Prior to recapture in either trial and within the confines of the sampling grids, the greatest estimated dispersal distances by individual nymphs released on logs, and in litter 0.5 m or 1.5 m from logs, were 2.4, 3.0, and 3.0 m, respectively. Nymphs released on logs or litter tended to remain within the same biotopes in which they were freed while host-seeking. In two simultaneous trials involving trunks spaced close-at-hand, nymphs released at the trunk/litter interface on all four aspects collectively dispersed a mean of 0.353 m/day on trunks vs 0.175 m/day in litter. In either trial, the greatest distances that recaptured nymphs climbed trunks, or dispersed in litter in an encircling 3-m grid, were 1.55 m and 2.97 m, respectively. Nymphs ascending trunks did not exhibit a preference for any one aspect, and the B. burgdorferi-infection prevalences in nymphs that climbed trunks (3.2–4.0%) did not differ significantly from those that moved horizontally into litter (10.5–17.6%). We conclude that I. pacificus nymphs use an ambush host-seeking strategy; that they disperse slowly in all biotopes studied; that they usually continue to host-seek in or on whatever substratum they access initially; and that B. burgdorferi-infected nymphs are as likely to move horizontally as vertically when offered a choice.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.