Tick Vector Biology

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Systematics of the Ixodida (Argasidae, Ixodidae, Nuttalliellidae): An Overview and Some Problems

  • J. E. KeiransAffiliated withDepartment of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious DiseasesDepartment of Entomology, Museum Support Center, Smithsonian Institution

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The world’s tick fauna is composed of some 850 species in 3 families and 19 genera. All known tick species are obligate hematophagous ectoparasites of either warm- or cold-blooded animals during one or more stages of their life cycle. Interest in ticks has increased dramatically in recent years primarily due to the relationship between ticks of the Ixodes ricinus group and their ability to transmit the causative agent of Lyme disease to humans.

In this chapter, the world’s tick fauna is listed; genera and occasionally subgenera considered; taxonomic problem areas discussed; and pertinent literature reviewed and cited.