In the last issue of the Journal of Medical Entomology (Q1 in Entomology), you can find a paper by Leszek Rychlik (Department of Systematic Zoology) and collaborators from three institutions in Warsaw and Košice (Slovakia) on competition between immatures (larvae and nymphs) of two tick species (Ixodes ricinus and Dermacentor reticulatus) for rodent hosts. The authors show that the two tick species found on mice (Apodemus agrarius and A. flavicollis) were negatively correlated with those on root voles (Microtus oeconomus). Bank voles (Myodes glareolus) were significantly more frequently infested by I. ricinus than by D. reticulatus, whereas the reverse was observed in root voles. In addition, each tick species was found in different locations on the vole body. Furthermore, competitive release regarding “microhabitat” (in terms of host body parts) selection was observed on hosts infested with only one tick species. The competition between ticks may be thus driven by the limited area of host body parts optimal for foraging of ticks (i.e. safe areas of high vascularization covered by thin skin).

The paper is available at: