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Family: Ixodidae

Hard ticks are readily distinguished from soft ticks by the presence of the prominent capitulum, projecting anteriorly, visible from above in all stages (Figure IV.13A). The mouthparts of some (Ixodes and Amblyomma) are long and can produce deep penetrating wounds in animals and humans (Figure IV.13B). The shape of the basal plate of the capitulum is an important character in generic identification (see Figure IV.9). The hard shiny scutum is present in all stages; it is small and restricted to the anterior dorsum in larvae, nymphs and adults, but large and covers the entire dorsal surface in males. The scutum of some ixodids (e.g. Amblyommaspp.) has a colourful pattern; such ticks are called ornate ticks. Those in which the scutum is not ornamented are called inornate ticks. Paired eyes, when present, are situated on either side of the scutum. Coxal glands are absent in ixodid ticks and the ingested blood is concentrated during the slow feeding by passage of fluid from …