Prevalence and intensity of the tick, Haemaphysalis leporispalustris, were monitored during 1963 to 1976 in a cyclic snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) population near Rochester, Alberta, Canada. Prevalence was near zero from December through March, and near 100% among adult hares from May through September. Prevalence among juvenile hares approached 100% by age 2 mo. Intensity peaked for both adults and juveniles during May–June and again in August. Mean intensities were significantly higher among adult males than adult females in 5 of 13 yr, and almost significant in two others. Tick intensities were lowest during 3 yr, 1969 to 1971, when hare densities were highest. Tick intensities in spring were correlated with intensities the previous fall. Survival of marked adult and juvenile hares was unrelated to intensities of infestation. Mean numbers of corpora lutea and embryos tended to be lower among adult females with heavy tick infestations, and intra-uterine losses rose steadily from about 3 to 13% as tick intensities increased from none to heavy. Comparison of average tick intensities on adults 1-, 2-, and ≥3-yr-old yielded no evidence of increased immunity with age.
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Vol. 26 • No. 4