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a family of parasitic ticks of the superfamily Ixodoidea. The body is flattened, oval, and 3–30 mm long. The integument is leathery. Hungry argasidae are gray or yellow-brown in color; after filling up with blood, they become purplish.
There are five genera of Argasidae, containing about 100 species. In the USSR there are 17 species, belonging to three genera: the tick (Argas), Alveonasus, and Ornithodoros. They are distributed in countries with a warm climate; in the USSR they are found in the southern European area, the Caucasus, Middle Asia, and Kazakhstan.
All Argasidae feed on the blood of terrestrial vertebrates; they hide in the burrows and nests of animals and in holes and cracks in the earth and in buildings; they usually attack their animal hosts at night. When sucking blood, the Argasidae swell up tremendously. They can also go hungry for years. In man, the bites of the Argasidae cause itching and a red blister on the skin. The Argasidae are carriers of a number of animal and human diseases.
REFERENCESPospelova-Shtrom, M. V. Kleshchi—ornitodoriny i ikh epidemiologicheskoe znachenie. Moscow, 1953.
Filippova, N. A. “Argasovye kleshchi (Argasidae).” In Fauna SSSR: Paukoobraznye, vol. 4. no. 3. Moscow, 1966.
Balashov, Iu. S. Krovososushchie kleshchi (Ixodoidea)— perenoschiki boleznei cheloveka i zhivotnykh. Leningrad, 1967.
A. B. LANGE