Virtual Microscope


  • 8 legs (exception: some larval stages of  ticks have only 6 legs)
  • Without dorsal shield
  • Spheric body
  • The "head" (Capitulum) is hidden in nymphs and adult animals Palps resemble legs
  • Ticks have capitulum («head» with mouth parts)
  • Coxal organs

Life cycle

  • Multiple egg laying (15-100 eggs)
  • 4-5 nymphal stages
  • Incomplete metamorphosis (hemimetabole development) (larvae look the same as adults)
  • Multiple, short (about 30 minutes) blood meals
  • many hosts
  • localized distribution


  • Tick-borne relapsing fever (Ornithodorus mubata)
  • Primarily ectoparasites of birds