The Lyme Association of Greater Kansas City is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation organized under the Missouri Non-Profit Corporation Act. We are an affiliate of the Lyme Disease Association.

Overland Park, KS  |  Email: contactus@lymefight.info  |  Phone: 913.438.5963

Genus Ornithodoros

  • The ticks in this genus have a more globular body without the sutural line found in the various species of Argas.

  • The body is roughened or warty in appearance with tiny protuberances, called “mammillae.”

  • The hypostome has well-developed teeth.

The relapsing fever ticks, Ornithodoros species

  • are seldom seen by the average person since they are primarily “nest ticks” which can survive starvation for months or even years. Human beings are occasionally bitten by these hungry ticks and contract cases of relapsing fever in mountain cabins, in caves, or near wild animal burrows.

Ornithodoros hermsi

Markings:

  • The ticks in this genus have a more globular body without the sutural line found in the various species of Argas.

  • The body is roughened or warty in appearance with tiny protuberances, called “mammillae.”

  • The hypostome has well-developed teeth.

  • Commonly Carry: Relasping Fever

  • Common hosts: small mammals such as the western chipmunk (Eutamias) or tree squirrels (Tamiasciurus). Occasionally, people sleeping in mountain cabins come in contact with infected ticks and contract relapsing fever.

Where Found: At high elevations in the West, particularly Idaho, Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, and Colorado
Ornithodoros parkeri

Markings:

  • The ticks in this genus have a more globular body without the sutural line found in the various species of Argas.

  • The body is roughened or warty in appearance with tiny protuberances, called “mammillae.”

  • The hypostome has well-developed teeth.

  • Commonly Carry: It’s an  efficient vector of Relapsing Fever can transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

  • Common hosts: Ornithodoros parkeri is a large species which attacks man and rodents

Where Found: In nine western states
Ornithodoros Turicata

Markings:

  • The ticks in this genus have a more globular body without the sutural line found in the various species of Argas.

  • The body is roughened or warty in appearance with tiny protuberances, called “mammillae.”

  • The hypostome has well-developed teeth.

  • Commonly Carry: Even after long starvation, it is an efficient vector of relapsing fever. Both O. Turicata and O. parkeri transmit the spirochete of this disease to their offspring as far as the fourth generation.

  • Common hosts: Rodents, snakes, terrapins and various domestic animals, as well as man.

Ornithodoros talajeed

Markings:

  • The ticks in this genus have a more globular body without the sutural line found in the various species of Argas.

  • The body is roughened or warty in appearance with tiny protuberances, called “mammillae.”

  • The hypostome has well-developed teeth.

  • Commonly Carry: This tick is a vector of Mexican-American relapsing fever of humans.

  • Common hosts: Wild and domestic cats

Where Found: Occurs in southern United States.

General Characteristics of the Genus: