Natural isotope signatures of host blood are replicated in moulted ticks

Schmidt, O., Dautel, H., Newton, J. and Gray, J.S. (2011) Natural isotope signatures of host blood are replicated in moulted ticks. Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases, 2(4), pp. 225-227. (doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2011.09.006)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


This proof-of-concept study demonstrates that stable isotope ratios of nitrogen and carbon (expressed as δ13C and δ15N) of host blood are faithfully reproduced in unfed nymphal Ixodes ricinus that developed from larvae fed on that host. Measured isotopic discrimination (i.e. the tick–blood spacing) was between −0.1 and 0.7‰ for δ13C and 3.8 and 3.9‰ for δ15N. Both δ13C and δ15N increased significantly with tick ageing. The isotopic analysis of unfed ticks has potential for determining the physiological age of unfed ticks, for identifying the season in which the previous stage had fed and for identifying the main hosts utilized by ticks.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Newton, Dr Jason
Authors: Schmidt, O., Dautel, H., Newton, J., and Gray, J.S.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
ISSN (Online):1877-9603
Published Online:01 October 2011

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record