The basis capituli in these ticks is rectangular as viewed from above.
Dermacentor resembles Rhipicephalus in having eyes and 11 festoons, but the scutum is ornamented and males lack the adanal shields. D. nitens has only seven festoons.
Species which are pathogenic to dogs include:
- Dermacentor reticulatus
- Dermacentor silvarum
- Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick)
- Dermacentor marginatus
- Dermacentor andersoni (rocky Mountain wood tick)
- Dermacentor nitens
- Dermacentor occidentalis
Larvae and nymphs engorge on small rodents and adults engorge on dogs and other domestic animals and wildlife.
Adult females feed to repletion over several days, becoming larger as they feed.
Dermacentor feed from dogs, resulting in skin disease, blood loss and transmission of various diseases such as:
- Babesia canis canis
- Anaplasma phagocytophilum
- Rickettsia helvetica
- Dirofilaria repens, Dirofilaria immitis
- Hepatozoon canis
- Mycoplasma haemocanis
- Francisella tularensis
Diagnosis of infection is based on visual inspection under light microscopy. Speciation requires either specialists examination or PCR assays.
Treatment and prevention require use of acaricidal drugs such as fipronil or permethrins on a regular basis.
- Discover Life
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