Encyclopedia of Parasitology

2016 Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-43978-4_2248




Greek: ornithos = chicken, dorus = leather bag.


Genus of the subfamily Ornithodorinae of the leather tick family  Argasidae.

General Information

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.

Life Cycle

The life cycle comprises the egg, 1 larva, 5 nymphs, and a male and female adult (Fig. 1, page 1056). Ornithodorus spp. may live more than 10 years and are able to starve even for years.
Ornithodorus, Fig. 1

LM of the ventral and dorsal side of Ornithodorus moubata. Note the granular surface



Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016