Experimental & Applied Acarology

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 331–344

The fossil record and the origin of ticks (Acari: Parasitiformes: Ixodida)

  • José de la Fuente

DOI: 10.1023/A:1025824702816

Cite this article as:
de la Fuente, J. Exp Appl Acarol (2003) 29: 331. doi:10.1023/A:1025824702816


Ticks are obligate hematophagous ectoparasites of terrestrial vertebrates. Hypotheses on the origin of ticks have been proposed based on tick-host associations and the total-evidence approach analysis of morphological and molecular characters. Nevertheless, the origin of ticks remains a controversial issue. Here, I revised the tick fossil record including reports from the literature and the description of 7 new specimens. The analysis of fossil ticks provides few clues to tick evolution but does not contradict recent hypotheses based on total-evidence approach analysis that place the origin of ticks in the Cretaceous (65–146 mya) with most of the evolution and dispersal occurring during the Tertiary (5–65 mya).


Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • José de la Fuente
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary MedicineOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA