STUDIES OF WINTER TICK, DERMACENTOR ALBIPICTUS ON THE BELL OF MOOSE IN NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO
The winter tick, Dermacentor albipictus (Packard, 1869), was found on 94% of 54 moose bells examined 7 October to 15 December, 1976 and 1977. The density of ticks was greater on the narrow tail portion then on the broad dewlap portion of the bell. Tick densities on the tail of the bell were similar on male and female moose but were greater on calves (up to 10.9 ticks/cm2) than on older animals.
Most ticks recovered (99% of 4,093) were in the nymphal stage but adult ticks were seen as early as 22 October and larvae as late as 3 December.
The tail portion of some bells with large numbers of ticks was partially denuded of hair. In sections of skin, an amorphorus pink-staining material was always present between the keratinized layer and the stratum granulosum beneath attached ticks, and eosinophils were numerous in the underlying dermis.
Counts of ticks on the tail portion of bells may provide a conveniently obtained index of the relative numbers of D. albipictus on moose.
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