Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Author: Packard, 1869
Length of unengorged adults: 1.7-2.5 mm - UCDavis
Widely dist. throughout N. and S. Amer.
Found on rabbits, other small mammals and birds.
H. leporispalustris is a 3-host tick.
Gravid females drop off their lagomorph (hares and rabbits) host and lay up to 2400 eggs, which hatch in 22-61 days, well timed with the host's natural resting habits.
The resulting larvae feed on rodents and ground-dwelling birds, drop off their hosts, and molt.
Nymphs similarly feed on rodents and birds (rarely cattle and deer), drop off and molt.
The adult stage feeds exclusively on rabbits and hares. Mating occurs on the host. - UCDavis
Transmits Coxiella burnetii, Francisella tularensis.
Heavy infestations of this tick can weaken and sometimes kill their hosts, or at least predispose them to other pathogens. This tick is an important reservoir and vector of Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia within sylvatic lagomorph and rodent populations. - UCDavis