Greek: ornithos = chicken, dorus = leather bag.
Genus of the subfamily Ornithodorinae of the leather tick family Argasidae.
The genus Ornithodorus includes many species with vector activity. O. moubata (male 8 mm, female 10 mm), the “eyeless tampan” lives in corners of the sandy soil of houses in South Africa and during the night attacks the inhabitants, and also chicken (see name). It is the vector of the agent of the rickettsial relapsing fever (Borrelia duttoni). The tick O. moubata porcinus attacks pigs and transmits the African pig pest (virus), while O. savigny (eyed tampan) is found to suck on horses, camels, cattle, and humans (in Africa, Arabia, India), but is apparently not a vector. O. lahorensis is found in Southeast Europe up to Asia. O. hermsi and other species are found in the Americas.