Host specific ticks of the UK and Europe

There are a number of species of Ixodes found in the UK and Europe that are considered to be host specific.  Their role as vector for disease, in some cases are not well understood due to their host specificity, however in some cases these ticks may accidentally be found on domestic animals such as cats due to close proximity rather than host choice.  Most of the species described in this section are mainly found on birds or small mammals such as voles.

 

As with other species of Ixodes covered in this website, males and females are separately identified, please scroll down to the male key

 

Key to Females

1a.)  Legs long and slender

Ixodes vespertilionis

1b.)  Legs of moderate length and thickness

2

2a.)  Porose area undivided

Ixodes unicavatus

2b.)  Two porose areas

3

3a.)  Basal segment of article i of the palps have a lateral spur

Ixodes trianguliceps

3b.)  Lateral spur absent

4

4a.)  Palps relatively long; article ii + iii as long or longer than the width of the basis capituli

5

4b.)  Palps relatively short; article ii+ iii may be fused or shorter that the width of the basis capituli

6

5a.)  Coxa I internal spur is long, external spur is small, auriculae is prominent and triangular in shape

Ixodes acuminatus

5b.)  Coxa I internal/external spurs small; auriculae large

Ixodes apronophorus

5c.)  Coxa I have small internal/external spur, external spur indistinct; auriculae is button-shaped

Ixodes frontalis

6a.)  Article iii wider than article ii creating a club-shape of the palps

7

6b.)  Article ii + iii similar width

8

7a.)  Coxa I has large, distinct external spur; auriculae are rounded and the palps are blade-shaped

Ixodes rothschildi

7b.)  Coxa I has large, distinct external spur; auriculae appear folded and the palps are club-shaped

Ixodes caledonicus

7c.)  Coxa I external spur absent; auriculae absent; palps are club-like

Ixodes uriae

8.)  Coxa I internal spur absent

9

9a.)  Tarsus I stepped

Ixodes arboricola

9b.)  Tarsus I not stepped

Ixodes lividus

 

 

 

Key to Males

1a.)  Legs long and slender

Ixodes vespertilionis

1b.)  Legs of moderate length and thickness

2

2a.)  Brushes of setae present on festoons

3

2b.)  Brushes of setae on festoons absent

4

3a.)  Coxa I has an external spur

Ixodes unicavatus

3b.)  Coxa I lacks external spur

Ixodes uriae

4a.)  Coxa I lacks distinct spurs

8

4b.)  Coxa I has 1-2 distinct spurs

5

5a.)  Article ii + iii fused

Ixodes caledonicus

5b.)  Article ii + iii shows  true division

6

6a.)  Coxa I with external spur only

Ixodes frontalis

6b.)  Coxa I with internal and external spurs

7

7a.)  Pairing of internal and external spur unequal

Ixodes acuminatus

7b.)  Pairing of internal and external spur equal

Ixodes apronophorus

8a.)  Posterior margin of basis viewed dorsally is narrow

9

8b.)  Posterior margin of basis viewed dorsally wide

10

9a.)  Body is large and round, with a wide margin surrounding the conscutum; palps are club-like

Ixodes rothschildi

9b.)  Body is small, lacking margin around conscutum; palps small and uniform with a division visible

Ixodes trianguliceps

10a.)  Palps small; dorsal basis narrows posteriorly; spurs absent on coxa I

Ixodes arboricola

10b.)  Palps small; dorsal basis is rectangular in shape; spurs absent on coxa I

Ixodes lividus

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