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1 March 2003 Larval Behavioral Diapause Regulates Life Cycle of Amblyomma cajennense (Acari: Ixodidae) in Southeast Brazil
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Previous studies have determined that Amblyomma cajennense (F.) produces one generation per year in Southeastern Brazil. Larvae predominate from April to July, nymphs from July to October, and adults from October to March. In the current study, we observed engorged females, their eggs, and respective larvae in the field. Engorged females were released in grass plots under natural conditions, at monthly intervals, from October 2000 to March 2001. Preoviposition periods lasted 1–2 wk, and mean egg incubation periods lasted 5–7 wk. Consequently, larvae hatched at different periods from early December 2000 to early April 2001. However, all hatched larvae stayed confined to the plot ground, under the vegetation, until late April or early May 2001, when some larvae were seen questing on top of vegetation for the first time. Thereafter, larvae were always seen on this questing position until August 2001, when all larvae had died on the plots. In addition, premolt period data of engorged larvae and nymphs held in laboratory at different temperatures were used to construct a premolt mathematical model, which was applied to reported seasonal dynamic data of A. cajennense in the field. The premolt model indicated that the field intervals between larvae and nymphs and between nymphs and adults are controlled solely by nondiapause events, such as ground temperature. We concluded that the 1-yr generation pattern of A. cajennense in Southeastern Brazil is primarily controlled by larval behavioral diapause, shown by larvae born during spring/summer months, before their activity period at next autumn.

Marcelo B. Labruna, Marcos Amaku, João Augusto Metzner, Adriano Pinter, and Fernando Ferreira "Larval Behavioral Diapause Regulates Life Cycle of Amblyomma cajennense (Acari: Ixodidae) in Southeast Brazil," Journal of Medical Entomology 40(2), 170-178, (1 March 2003).
Received: 14 September 2002; Accepted: 1 December 2002; Published: 1 March 2003

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