No Evidence of Competition between the Blacklegged Tick (Acari: Ixodidae) and American Dog Tick on the Rodent Host White-Footed Deermouse (Rodentia: Cricetidae) in Southwestern Tennessee


Investigations that analyze interspecific associations of vectors on their hosts are important for understanding community structure and implementing ways to comprehend mechanisms of pathogen transmission. We assessed the interspecific association of two tick species (Ixodes scapularis Say (Ixodida: Ixodidae) and Dermacentor variabilis Say (Ixodida: Ixodidae)) on the rodent host Peromyscus leucopus Rafinesque (Rodentia: Cricetidae) at the Hobart Ames Research and Education Center in southwestern Tennessee. Of the rodents captured, 95 (63%) had neither species of tick, 6 (4%) had both tick species, 25 (16%) had I. scapularis only, and 26 (17%) had D. variabilis only. A coefficient of association (C7 = ?0.08) was calculated, which suggested there was competition between the two species of ectoparasites, but this value was not significant, indicating that there was a neutral relationship between the tick species on P. leucopus. The co-occurrence of both tick species on their host at the same time suggested that the two tick species can occupy the same host and use the same resources without competing.

Publication Title

Journal of Medical Entomology