Haemaphysalis spp.

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Haemaphysalis spp.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Arthropoda
Class Arachnida
Sub-class Acari
Super-order Parasitiformes
Order Ixodida
Super-family Ixodidea
Family Ixodidae
Genus Haemaphysalis
Species H. punctata and others


Haemaphysalis spp. of ticks can be identified by:

  • Wide palps
  • Rectangular base of capitulum
  • Eyes present on idiosoma
  • Not ornate
  • Festoons on posterior margin
  • Posterior anal groove

The major species found in the UK, though rarely, is H.punctata, the red sheep tick. This is a three host tick that can complete its life cycle in a single year but in Wales takes between 2 - 3 years due to environmental conditions. H.punctata bites cause paralysis in sheep and cattle which the adults target as the third host, though they may also attach other medium to large mammals and humans. The larval and nymphal stages target small mammals, birds and lizards. As with many other ticks H.punctata transmits a number of diseases including tick born encephalitis (TBE), Q fever (Coxiella burnetti), tularaemia, Rickettsia slovaca, Theileria mutans, T.ovis, T.recondite, Babesia major, B.motasi, Anaplasma mesaeterum, Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever, Borrelia burgdorferi (spanish lyme disease).

Haemaphysalis spp. Learning Resources
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