First fossil soft ticks,Ornithodoros antiquus n. sp. (Acari: Argasidae) in Dominican amber with evidence of their mammalian host
A male and female soft tick,Ornithodoros antiquus n. sp. (Acari: Argasidae) from Dominican Republic amber are described. This represents the first description of a fossil soft tick. The fossils share characters with members of the subgeneraPavlovskyella andAlectorobius but differ from extant members in a combination of characters. It is postulated thatO. antiquus lived with its mammalian host (probably a rodent) in a cavity of the resin-bearing tree (Hymenaea protera: Fabaceae) some 30–40 million years ago.
Key wordsFossil soft tick Argasidae Ornithodoros
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