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Types of Ticks

Ixodidae (hard ticks):

  • Typically take one blood meal in each of the three developmental stages — larval, nymphal and adult.

  • Remain attached for several days and then drop off.

  • Genera: Ixodes, Amblyomma, Dermacentor, Rhipicephalus

  • Have a scutum while soft ticks do not.

  • Males: the scutum is large, completely covering the dorsal surface.

  • Females: the scutum covers only a part of the dorsal surface and is almost obscured when she becomes engorged.

  • The capitulum of hard ticks extends forward from the anterior end of the body; bears some resemblance to a true head.

  • The spiracles lie behind the fourth pair of coxae, or basal segments of the leg.

  • Both sexes are blood feeders, but only the female becomes greatly distended during engorgement.

  • Most species feed on a different host during each stage, but there are some one-host and two-host species.

Types of Hard Ticks:

Argasidae (soft ticks)

  • Live in animal nests

  • Feed many times during their lives

  • Feed for a few minutes during the night and then drop off

  • There are four genera, of which Ornithodoros is the most important disease transmitting vector of the soft tick family.

  • Male and female soft ticks are similar in appearance, with no dorsal plate (scutum) to distinguish the sexes as in hard ticks.

  • The capitulum which bears the mouth parts is located beneath the anterior margin of the body.

  • The spiracles lie on the sides of the body above the third and fourth pairs of legs.

  • Some species of soft ticks feed on humans, but they are more common on birds and, occasionally, on bats and other small mammals.

  • Sexes are distinguished by the shape of the genital opening

  • Males is circular or crescent-shaped

  • Females is a transverse split, wider than long.

  • Example: relapsing fever tick

Types of Soft Ticks:
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