This study assesses the weight gain of partially engorged Rhipicephalus sanguineus females that were artificially fed via capillary tubes and the influence of capillary tube feeding on the biological parameters of the non-parasitic stage of the species. The ticks were sorted into four groups, each containing ten females of a homogeneous weight. The groups were each treated for different feeding times, 2, 6, 12 and 24 hours. The weight gain of the artificially fed females was measured, and the biological parameters of the non-parasitic stage of the tick were observed for each treatment group. The statistical non-parametrical Dunn and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to compare the results. The mean weights (mg) were 0.2±2.4; 4.3±5.8; 7.4±5.8 and 12.0±11.2 for the 2, 6, 12 and 24 hours feeding groups, respectively. The weight of the fed groups increased as the capillary feeding time increased, and this relationship was highly significant (P<0.05) between the groups fed for 2 and 24 hours. No statistically significant differences (P>0.05) were observed in the parameters of the non-parasitic stage for the artificially fed groups. It can be concluded that artificial feeding via capillary tubes provides an efficient and easy method for the artificial intake of blood by R. sanguineus. Furthermore, it was noted that the ticks fed in vitro were able to establish a new generation. The experimental method shows great promise in studies that aim to investigate biological disease agents.
feeding in vitro; capillary tube; ixodidae