Ticks are blood-feeding external parasites of mammals, birds and reptiles throughout the world. The evolutionary thesis suggests that both ixodid and argasid ticks have been in existence since the late Paleozoic to early Mesozoic eras. Antecedent forms evolved as obligate ectoparasites of smooth-skinned reptiles during the late Paleozoic era (Hoogstraal and Kim, 1985).
Most Ixodidae have retained their preferences for mammals and birds. Only one species in each genus has reptiles as hosts (Hoskins, 1991).
- Hoogstraal H, Kim KC: Tick and mammal coevolution, with emphasis on Haemaphysalis. In: Kim KC: Coevolution of parasitic arthropods and mammals. 1985, John Wiley & Sons, New York, pp 505-568
- Hoskins JD: Tick-transmitted diseases. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 1991, Saunders, Philadelphia