Otobius spp

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Otobius spp are a hematophagous parasitic spinous ear tick found in North America and Africa[1][2].

Species which are pathogenic to dogs include:

  • Otobius megnini[3]

Only the larvae and nymphs are parasitic. The nymphal stage appears bluish grey with four pairs of yellow legs, while the larva has three pairs. Feeding in the ear canal they can produce acute otitis externa, pain and occasionally convulsions[3].

They can remain in the canal for up to seven months before becoming free-living adults.


  1. Matthews BR (1989) Otobius megnini (spinous ear tick) in a dog. Can Vet J 30(2):180
  2. Ugochukwu EI & Nnadozie CC (1985) Ectoparasitic infestation of dogs in Bendel State, Nigeria. Int J Zoonoses 12(4):308-312
  3. 3.0 3.1 Horak IG & Matthee S (2003) Parasites of domestic and wild animals in South Africa. XLIII. Ixodid ticks of domestic dogs and cats in the Western Cape Province. Onderstepoort J Vet Res 70(3):187-195