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Order Ixodida - Ticks

American Dog Tick - Dermacentor variabilis - male Tick - Amblyomma americanum Tick - Dermacentor occidentalis tick - Dermacentor occidentalis American Dog Tick? - Dermacentor Dermacentor variabilis - male Tick - Amblyomma americanum Ixodes pacificus - Ixodes
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Chelicerata (Chelicerates)
Class Arachnida (Arachnids)
Subclass Acari (Mites and Ticks)
Superorder Parasitiformes
Order Ixodida (Ticks)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
taxonomy follows(1)
Explanation of Names
Ixodida Leach 1815
close to 900 spp. in 19 genera of 3 families worldwide(1)(2)
Normal adult body length about 3 mm; up to 30 mm when engorged with blood.
There are soft ticks (Argasidae) and hard ticks (Ixodidae). Soft ticks have a leathery integument, no head plate, and the head is on the underside. Hard ticks have a hard plate above the head, and the head is directed forward.(3) Young ticks may have have only three pairs of legs, whereas adults have four pairs.
worldwide and throughout NA
External parasites of reptiles, birds, and mammals; larvae, nymphs, and adults feed on blood
Life Cycle
Hard ticks have three distinct life stages. Larvae emerge from the egg having six legs. After obtaining a blood meal from a vertebrate host, they molt to the nymphal stage and acquire eight legs. Nymphs feed and molt to the next and final stage (the adult), which also has eight legs. After feeding once more, the adult female hard tick lays one batch of thousands of eggs and then dies. Only one blood meal is taken during each of the three life stages. The time to completion of the entire life cycle may vary from less than a year in tropical regions to over three years in cold climates, where certain stages may enter diapause until hosts are again available. Many hard ticks can go for several months without feeding if not unduly duressed by environmental conditions.(6)
Important vectors of agents of humans & animal disease throughout the world. Ticks transmit the widest variety of pathogens of any blood-sucking arthropod, including bacteria, rickettsiae, protozoa, and viruses. Some currently important human diseases in the US caused by tick-borne pathogens include Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and tick-borne relapsing fever.(6)
Works Cited
1.Synopsis of the described Arachnida of the World
2.Superorder Parasitiformes Reuter, 1909. In: Zhang Z.-Q. (ed.) Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification...
Beaulieu F., Dowling A.P.G., Klompen H., de Moraes G.J., Walter D.E. 2011. Zootaxa 3148: 123–128.
3.Spiders and Their Kin: A Golden Guide from St. Martin's Press
Herbert W. Levi, Lorna R. Levi, Nicholas Strekalovsky. 2001. St. Martin's Press.
4.Laboratory identification of arthropod ectoparasites
Mathison B.A., Pritt B.S. 2014. Clinical Microbiology Reviews 27(1): 48–67.
5.TickEncounter Resource Center at the University of Rhode Island
6.Ticks feeding on humans: a review of records on human-biting Ixodoidea with special reference to pathogen transmission
Estrada-Peña A., Jongejan F. 1999. Exp. Appl. Acarol. 23: 685–715.