Experimental studies were conducted between July and September, 2014 on the reproductive biology of Hyalomma truncatum in Maiduguri. Engorged adult female ticks were collected from the body of slaughtered cattle and morphologically identified to the species level. For further study, they were incubated in desiccators at 28°C and 85% relative humidity (RH) to determine their pre-oviposition and oviposition periods. The eggs collected from ovipositing females were counted under a stereoscopic microscope to obtain the mean daily and total egg counts as well as the average number of eggs/gram of weight of female and the percentage of body mass conversion. Batches of eggs laid were also incubated under similar laboratory conditions to determine their incubation periods. The results showed that the mean±SE values of pre-oviposition, oviposition and incubation periods for H. truncatum were 7.25±0.78, 10.40±1.37 and 19.90±0.97 days, respectively, while the mean±SE total egg count per head and average number of eggs per gram of weight of female H. truncatum were 5645.7 ± 939.14 and 8838.5±1204.1, respectively. A strong correlation was observed between pre-oviposition weight and mean egg count (r = 0.637, p<0.05), as well as between the convertible blood mass and mean egg count (r = 0.779, p<0.05). Also, female H. truncatum converted 53.3 to 74.3% of their total body mass (g) during oviposition. In conclusion, this study has revealed that the pre-oviposition weight of engorged female H. truncatum influenced their mean egg counts, oviposition pattern and efficiency of body mass conversion (%).
Key words: Biology, convertible blood mass, egg count, Hyalomma truncatum, Maiduguri, oviposition pattern.
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