Rhipicephalus sanguineus, commonly called the brown dog tick, kennel tick, or pantropical dog tick, is a species of tick found worldwide, but more commonly in warmer climates. This species is unusual among ticks in that its entire lifecycle can be completed indoors. The brown dog tick is easily recognized by its reddish-brown color, elongated body shape, and hexagonal basis capituli (flat surface where mouthparts are attached). Adults are 2.28 to 3.18 mm in length and 1.11 to 1.68 mm in width. They do not have ornamentation on their backs. 
The tick follows the normal developmental stages of egg, larva, nymph, and adult. It is called a three-host tick because it feeds on a different host during each of the larval, nymphal, and adult stages. However, the hosts tend to be of one species. Larvae feed for 5-15 days, drop from the host, and develop into nymphs after 1-2 weeks. The nymphs then attach to either the previous host or a different host and feed for 3-13 days before dropping from the host. After two weeks, they develop into adults and attach to another host where they continue to ingest blood, followed by a period of mating. The females drop yet again in order to lay their eggs, which can total up to 7,000 in number.
Rhipicephalus sanguineus can acquire bacterial or protozoal causative agents of disease at any of these life stages.
Rhipicephalus sanguineus feeds on a wide variety of mammals, but dogs are the preferred host in the U.S., and the population can reach pest proportions in houses and kennels. The preferred attachment sites on a dog are the head, ears, back, between toes, and axilla.
Rhipicephalus sanguineus is one of the most important vectors of diseases in dogs worldwide. In the United States, R. sanguineus is a vector of many disease-causing pathogens in dogs, including Ehrlichia canis, which causes canine ehrlichiosis, and Babesia canis, which is responsible for canine babesiosis. In dogs, symptoms of canine ehrlichiosis include lameness and fever; those for babesiosis include fever, anorexia, and anemia. R. sanguineus has not been shown to transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease in humans. In parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa, it is a vector of Rickettsia conorii, known locally as Mediterranean spotted fever, boutonneuse fever, or tick typhus.
Vector-borne pathogens found in R. sanguineus
- Babesia vogeli
- Babesia canis
- Coxiella burnetii
- Ehrlichia canis
- Hepatozoon canis
- Mycoplasma haemocanis
- Rickettsia conorii
- Rickettsia rickettsii
- Wolbachia spp
The best management strategy is prevention of infestations in the house or kennel. In addition, the earlier the infestation is discovered, the easier it is to control. Regular grooming and inspection of pets is essential to management, especially when dogs have been quartered or have interacted with other dogs.
A cosmopolitan species, it can be found in Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ivory Coast, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, French Guiana, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Martinique, Mauritania, Mexico, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Virgin Islands (U.S.), Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
- Gray, J; Dantas-Torres, F; Estrada-Peña, A; Levin, M (2013). "Systematics and ecology of the brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus". Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 4 (3): 171–80. doi:10.1016/j.ttbdis.2012.12.003. PMID 23415851.
- C. C. Lord (2001). "Brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus Latreille". Featured Creatures. University of Florida. Retrieved October 14, 2008.
- Dantas-Torres F. 2008. The brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Latreille, 1806) (Acari: Ixodidae): From taxonomy to control. Veterinary Parasitology 152: 173-185.
- Ioffe-Uspensky I, Mumcuoglu KY, Uspensky I, Galun R. 1997. Rhipicephalus sanguineus and R. turanicus (Acari: Ixodidae): closely related species with different biological characteristics. Journal of Medical Entomology 34: 74-81.
- Koch HG. 1982. Oviposition of the brown dog tick (Acari, Ixodidae) in the laboratory. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 75: 583-586.
- "How ticks spread disease | Ticks | CDC". www.cdc.gov. 2019-04-09. Retrieved 2019-05-31.
- Dantas-Torres F. 2010. Biology and ecology of the brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Parasites & Vectors 3: 26. https://doi.org/10.1186/1756-3305-3-26.
- Domenico Otranto & Filipe Dantas-Torres (2010). "Canine and feline vector-borne diseases in Italy: current situation and perspectives". Parasites & Vectors. 3 (1): 2. doi:10.1186/1756-3305-3-2. PMC 2818618. PMID 20145730.
- "Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: Questions and Answers | Tickborne Rickettsial Diseases". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2018-08-06. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
- René-Martellet, Magalie; Minard, Guillaume; Massot, Raphael; Tran Van, Van; Valiente Moro, Claire; Chabanne, Luc; Mavingui, Patrick (2017-09-07). "Bacterial microbiota associated with Rhipicephalus sanguineus (s.l.) ticks from France, Senegal and Arizona". Parasites & Vectors. 10 (1): 416. doi:10.1186/s13071-017-2352-9. ISSN 1756-3305. PMC 5591579. PMID 28886749.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rhipicephalus sanguineus.|