The ultrastructure and characteristics of hemocytes of argasid tick species, Ornithodoros moubata, during the ecdysdial phase are herein presented. Hemocyte classes/populations characterized based on their affinity with Giemsa stain and ultrastructural differences comprised the prohemocytes, nongranular cells (Nc), eosinophilic granular cells (Ec), basophilic granular cells (Bc), and unidentified cells. Significant changes/shift in the ratio of hemocyte classes/population was apparent in ticks before and after the ecdysial phase. The granule-scant basophilic granular cells (sBc) constituted the most abundant hemocyte population in the ecdysial phase. Nymphs in ecdysis showed increases in Nc and sBc and decrease in Ec, a phenomenon that was reversed in unengorged nymphs and adults ticks. The significant increase in total Bc population in ecdysis relative to nonengorged ticks clearly point to blastogenesis of Bc taking place during the ecdysial phase and Bc’s important role in the process of tissue remodeling.
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Vol. 40 • No. 6