The distribution of Dermacentor ticks in Canada in relation to bioclimatic zones.

Canadian Journal of Zoology (Impact Factor: 1.5). 08/1967; 45(4):517-37. DOI: 10.1139/z67-066
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Dermacentor andersoni has been collected north of Jasper, Alberta, close to 54° N. and near 53° N. in British Columbia. Spread to the north and northwest is probably limited by low summer soil temperatures, which would act principally by slowing egg development, thus disrupting the seasonal cycle of the tick. To the southwest, mild winters may fail to release diapause at the correct time of year. Aspect and slope are important factors. Altitude spread of records is from 1000–7000 ft. The most generally applicable description of its distribution is the ecotone between western grassland and moister regions, including clearings and rocky outcrops m the montane and Columbia forests, and shrubby areas of the prairies. In British Columbia, a series of randomly selected transects indicated a strong association between the tick's presence and several species of shrubs growing without tree shade.Each bioclimatic zone tends to have a characteristic group of rodents as main hosts of the immature stages. The prairie and montane regions differ in the indigenous hosts available to the adult tick.East of 105° D. andersoni is replaced by D. variabilis, which is adapted to the more humid summers of the eastern deciduous forest zones, and differs considerably from D. andersoni in its phenology. There are no reliable records of indigenous D. variabilis north of 52° latitude.D. albipictus occurs from the east to the west coast. Because of the winter activity of its larvae, allowing the whole summer for egg development, it is able to penetrate much farther north than the other two species. There are two records close to 60° latitude.

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