First description of the immature stages and redescription of the adults of Cosmiomma hippopotamensis (Acari: Ixodidae) with notes on its bionomics

26 Aug 2014

Cosmiomma hippopotamensis (Denny, 1843) is one of the most unusual, beautiful and rare tick species known to the world. All stages of this species possess a unique morphology, on the one hand making them easy to identify, while on the other they exhibit similarities to certain species of Amblyomma, Dermacentor and Hyalomma. Adults of C. hippopotamensis have been collected on only two occasions from their hosts, namely Hippopotamus amphibius and Diceros bicornis and have been recorded from only a few widely separated localities in East and southern Africa. Here the larva and nymph are described and illustrated for the first time, while the male and female are illustrated and redescribed. Data on the phylogenetic position, hosts, geographic distribution and life cycle of C. hippopotamensis are also provided.