Eighty-three species of ixodid ticks, as well as several entities that have yet to be described, occur in the Republic of South Africa plus the 4 independent states lying within its borders (Bophuthatswana, Venda, Transkei and Ciskei) and in Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. They belong to the following genera: Amblyomma (8 spp.); Aponomma (3 spp.); Boophilus (2 spp.); Cosmiomma (1 sp.); Dermacentor (1 sp.); Haemaphysalis (10 spp.); Hyalomma (2 spp., one of them with 2 subspp.) ; Ixodes (25 spp.); Margaropus (1 sp.); Rhipicentor (2 spp.), and Rhipicephalus (28 spp.). The history of tick research in this region is reviewed briefly and advances made by the major contributors to our knowledge are highlighted. Short comments on each genus are given. These are followed by information on every species known to occur in the region, presented under the following headings: Species diagnosis, under which references to relevant descriptions are listed and, where appropriate, notes on commonly used synonyms, related species and identification problems are included; hosts, indicating whenever possible the preferences of both the adults and the immature stages, as well as differentiating between common and incidental hosts, and distribution in terms of political (not ecological) divisions.
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