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New paper on ticks thermoregulation

Our paper with Claudio lazzari, Marcos Pereira, Aurélie Fauquet and Ricardo Araujo is out in Journal of Insect Physiology:

Abstract: Feeding on the blood of warm-blooded vertebrates is associated to thermal stress in haematophagous arthropods. It has been demonstrated that blood-sucking insects protect their physiological integrity either by synthesising heat-shock proteins or by means of thermoregulatory mechanisms. In this work, we describe the first thermoregulatory mechanism in a tick species, Ornithodoros rostratus. By performing real-time infrared thermography during feeding on mice we found that this acarian eliminates big amounts of fluid (urine) through their coxal glands; this fluid quickly spreads over the cuticular surface and its evaporation cools-down the body of the tick. The spread of the fluid is possible thanks to capillary diffusion through the sculptured exoskeleton of Ornithodoros. We discuss our findings in the frame of the adaptive strategies to cope with the thermal stress experienced by blood-sucking arthropods at each feeding event on warm-blooded hosts.


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