Experimental & Applied Acarology

, Volume 29, Issue 3–4, pp 331–344 | Cite as

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

  • José de la Fuente


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).

Amber Evolution Fossil Tick 


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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

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