The integument is composed of the epidermis and the cuticle. The cuticle is the dead, outer part of the integument. It is secreted by the epidermis which forms the inner, living part of the integument.
The tick’s integument serves as a body covering, as the primary protection against water loss and also as the exoskeleton. This provides protection against mechanical and other types of physical damage.
The cuticle can be differentiated into the thinner epicuticle and the much thicker procuticle of protein and chitin. However, in ixodid ticks the outer part of the procuticle, termed exocuticle, becomes sclerotised in certain regions, i. e., the scutum.
- Sonenshine DE: Biology of Ticks. Part 1, 1991, Oxford University Press, New York