Detachment rhythms of immature Karoo paralysis ticks (Ixodes rubicundus) from their natural host, the rock
elephant shrew (Elephantulus myurus) , were investigated under laboratory and natural conditions. Larvae and nymphs detach mainly during the day. Peak detachment always occurred after the commencement of artificial as
well as natural light cycles. The detachment of larvae appears to be more synchronous than that of nymphs, with
a larger percentage of larvae detaching over a shorter period of time. The detachment rhythms of I. rubicundus are
strongly correlated with the activity patterns of their hosts. This enhances not only the survival, but also the
dispersion and host contact of subsequent stages.
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