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Hyalomma marginatum.jpg
Hyalomma marginatum specimen in alcohol
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Subclass: Acari
Superorder: Parasitiformes
Order: Ixodida
Family: Ixodidae
Subfamily: Hyalomminae
Genus: Hyalomma

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Hyalomma is a genus of hard-bodied ticks common in Asia, Europe, and North Africa. They are also found in Southern Africa.

Hyalomma originated from Iran or the southern part of the former Soviet Union and spread into Asia, the Middle East, southern Europe, and Africa (Larry S. Roberts, 2009).

Hyalomma are larger in size and do not have protective shields (indistinct festoons), but have eyes and banded legs. Hyalomma species are difficult to identify due to their hybridization and genetic and morphological variations, caused by harsh environmental conditions and lack of food sources. Hyalomma species are the only ticks to live in such harsh desert conditions. With few hosts available, they are required to be active as soon as a potential host is sensed.

Adult Hyalomma can bite humans and transmit serious pathogens. Immature (nymph) Hyalomma usually feed on birds, rodents, and hares and can be the cause of viral disease and rickettsias. Nymphs are often transmitted from one place to another by migrating birds. For example, a migrating bird carrying a Hyalomma marginatum nymph can cause Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (Larry S.Roberts, 2009). Hyalomma species can also transmit rickettsias like Siberian tick typhus, Boutonneuse fever, and Q fever (Larry S.Roberts, 2009).



2. Roberts, Larry S., John Janovy, Gerald D. Schmidt, and Steve Nadler. "Chapter 41: Parasitic Arachnids: Subclass Acari, Ticks and Mites." Gerald D. Schmidt & Larry S. Roberts' Foundations of Parasitology. 8th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009. 645. Print.

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