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

Abstract

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).

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de la Fuente, J. The fossil record and the origin of ticks (Acari: Parasitiformes: Ixodida). Exp Appl Acarol 29, 331–344 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1025824702816

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1025824702816

  • Amber
  • Evolution
  • Fossil
  • Tick