Mating behavior of male deer ticks Ixodes dammini (Acari: Ixodidae)

Boaz Yuval*, Robert D. Deblinger, Andrew Spielman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


To analyze the sexual behavior of male black-legged deer ticks Ixodes dammini, we collected ticks infesting 202 white-tailed deer. On average, 17.7 males and 8.8 females infested each deer. Field-collected males copulated with a mean of 2.25 females, and virgin males mated with 2.4 females. On experimental hosts, males established sexual contact with feeding females and repelled other males, and about half remained paired after their mate detached. Engorged females continue to be receptive, and males mate more readily with them than with nonfed females. We conclude that male I. dammini are endowed with a repertoire of behaviors which favor an opportunistic mating before seeking a host and a preference for mating with feeding females on the host accompanied by tenacious mate guarding.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)765-772
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Insect Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Ixodes dammini
  • mate guarding
  • operational sex ratio
  • sexual behavior


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