abstract

A new species of argasid tick (Acari: Argasidae) is described from immature and adult specimens collected from several localities in Brazil. A complete morphological account is provided for all postembryonic life stages, i.e., larva, nymph, female, and male. Ornithodoros cavernicolous n. sp. is the 113th in the genus. Morphologically, the new species shares common features, e.g., presence of well-developed cheeks and legs with micromammillate cuticle, with other bat-associated argasid ticks included in the subgenus Alectorobius. In particular, the new species is morphologically related to Ornithodoros azteci Matheson, with which it forms a species group. Phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rRNA gene sequences supports the placement of the new species within a large clade that includes other New World bat-associated argasids. However, the new species seems to represent an independent lineage within the genus Ornithodoros.

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