This 2005 image depicted a male brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus
from a superior, or dorsal view looking down on this hard ticks scutum, or keratinized shield which entirely covers its back, identifying it as a male. In the female, the dorsal abdomen is only partially covered, thereby, offering room for abdominal expansion when she becomes engorged with blood while ingesting her blood meal obtained from her host.
Though not the primary vector for Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) like the American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis, and the Rocky Mountain wood tick D. andersoni, R. sanguineus has been found to be a less-common vector as well. This tick is distributed throughout the world. It also is known to transmit diseases to animals including canine babesiosis, bovine anaplasmosis, East Coast fever and Texas cattle fever. It can also spread tularemia, and tick-borne typhus to human beings.