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      Cross-mating experiments with geographically different populations of Amblyomma cajennense (Acari: Ixodidae).

      Experimental & Applied Acarology

      physiology, Male, Colombia, Female, Geography, Hybridization, Genetic, Ixodidae, Animals, Brazil

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          The present study evaluated the reproductive compatibility of the crosses between adult ticks of the following three geographically different populations of Amblyomma cajennense: State of São Paulo (SP), southeastern Brazil; State of Rondônia (RO), northern Brazil; and Colombia (CO). In addition, crosses between A. cajennense ticks from Argentina (AR) and SP ticks were also performed. The Argentinean population (AR) was compatible with SP because their crosses resulted in high % egg hatching (mean values ranging from 71.5 to 93.5%), similarly to all homologous (intrapopulational) crosses. In contrast, the tick populations SP, RO, and CO were shown to be incompatible with each other, since their heterologous (interpopulational) crosses always resulted in very low % egg hatching (range: 0-5%). The F(1) larval offspring derived from some of these females that yielded 5% egg hatching were reared until the F(1) adult stage. In all cases, only adult females molted from engorged nymphs. These F(1) females were likely to be a product of thelytokous parthenogenesis of the SP, RO, and CO females that were used in the heterologous crosses. Reproductive incompatibility is not expected to occur between different populations of a single species. Thus, our results suggest that the taxon A. cajennense might be represented by a complex of different species, whereas SP and AR ticks might represent a single species. Further populational genetic studies, coupled with extensive morphological analyses, are needed to clarify and determine a possible complex of valid species that might have been classified under the taxon A. cajennense.

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          physiology, Male, Colombia, Female, Geography, Hybridization, Genetic, Ixodidae, Animals, Brazil


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