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Brief Summary

The genus Rhipicephalus includes some well known tick species once segregated in the formerly recognized genus Boophilus, such as the cattle ticks R. microplus and R. annulatus (Barker and Murrell 2004). Although it has been virtually eradicated from the United States, Rhipicephalus microplus is still generally regarded as the world's most important tick parasite of livestock (Merck Veterinary Manual online). The cosmopolitan Brown Dog Tick (R. sanguineus), which can transmit the Rickettsia bacteria that cause Rocky Mountain spotted fever and boutonneuse fever, is another well known species in this genus. This tick is unusual in that it can complete its entire life cycle indoors, facilitating its spread around the world (Lord 2001). Although most Rhipicephalus species have 3-host life cycles, some have only two hosts. Those formerly placed in the genus Boophilus have just a single host The genus includes numerous important parasites of both domestic and wild mammals (Merck Veterinary Manual online). Most Rhipicephalus species are known from African mammal hosts (Jongejan and Uilenberg 2004).

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