Castor Bean Tick

Castor Bean Tick

Ixodes ricinus, the Castor bean tick or sheep tick, is the commonest tick in northern Europe.

Figure 1: Engorged adult female Castor bean tick.

In most of its geographical range I. ricinus feeds on animals from March to October, and two sub-populations, one becoming active in spring and early summer and the other smaller one in late summer and autumn, occur in most areas.

I. ricinus is an important vector of Lyme disease and in Western and Central Europe of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). Besides these two pathogens further viral, bacterial and protozoal pathogens can be transmitted of importance among others for humans and cattle or sheep.

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