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Rhipicephalus sanguineus.jpg
Rhipicephalus sanguineus
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Ixodida
Family: Ixodidae
Genus: Rhipicephalus
Koch, 1844[1]
Type species
Ixodes sanguineus
Latreille, 1806

About 74–75 species, see text.

Rhipicephalus is a genus of ticks in the family Ixodidae, the hard ticks, consisting of about 74 to 75 species.[2][3] Most are native to tropical Africa.[2]

Species are difficult to distinguish from one another because most are quite similar, but at the same time, individuals of one particular species can be quite variable.[3] Most of the characters used to identify species pertain to male and immature specimens, and "females are sometimes simply impossible to identify".[3]

Many Rhipicephalus are of economic, medical, and veterinary importance because they are vectors of pathogens. They transmit the pathogens that cause the animal and human diseases East Coast fever, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, rickettsiosis,[2] Boutonneuse fever, Lyme disease, Q fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever,[4] and they inject a neurotoxin in their bite that leads to tick-caused paralysis.[2]

Boophilus was once considered a separate genus, but studies in the early 2000s resulted in Boophilus being made a subgenus of Rhipicephalus.[5]

Species familiar in the domestic environment include the brown dog tick (R. sanguineus).


The name Rhipicephalus is derived from the Greek word rhiphis, meaning "fan-like",[citation needed] and κεφαλή, kephalē, meaning "head". The two terms, "fan-like" and "head" are related to the hexagonal basis capituli of Rhipicephalus.


Subgenus Boophilus[edit]


  1. ^ Koch, C. L. (1844). "Systematische Übersicht über die Ordnung der Zecken". Archiv für Naturgeschichte. 10 (1): 238–239.
  2. ^ a b c d Olwoch, J. M., et al. (2007). Climate change and the genus Rhipicephalus (Acari: Ixodidae) in Africa. Onderstepoort J Vet Res 74(1), 45-72.
  3. ^ a b c Beati, L. and J. E. Keirans. (2001). Analysis of the systematic relationships among ticks of the genera Rhipicephalus and Boophilus (Acari: Ixodidae) based on mitochondrial 12S ribosomal DNA gene sequences and morphological characters. The Journal of Parasitology 87(1), 32.
  4. ^ Rhipicephalus. Tick Identification Key. University of Lincoln.
  5. ^ Murrell, Anna; Barker, Stephen C. (2003). "Synonymy of Boophilus Curtice, 1891 with Rhipicephalus Koch, 1844 (Acari: Ixodidae)". Systematic Parasitology. 56 (3): 169–172. doi:10.1023/B:SYPA.0000003802.36517.a0.
  6. ^ Apanaskevich, D. A., et al. 2013. A new species of Rhipicephalus (Acari: Ixodidae), a parasite of red river hogs and domestic pigs in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Journal of Medical Entomology 50(3), 479-84.

Further reading[edit]

  • Horak, I. G.; et al. (2000). The Genus Rhipicephalus (Acardi, Ixodidae): A Guide to the Brown Ticks of the World. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-521-48008-6.

External links[edit]