Most of the 57 known Argas spp are specific for birds or bats; a few parasitize wild terrestrial mammals or Galapagos giant tortoises. The species of importance in transmitting Aegyptianella pullorum and Borrelia anserina to poultry are A persicus (many tropical and subtropical areas of the world), A arboreus (much of Africa, including Egypt), A africolumbae (tropical Africa), A walkerae (southern Africa), and A miniatus (South and Central America). Other species that infest poultry appear to transmit both A pullorum and B anserina. (Also see Ectoparasites: Fowl Ticks.) Tick paralysis is caused by feeding, A persicus, A arboreus, A walkerae, A miniatus, A radiatus, andA sanchezi (USA). These and other Argas spp can cause great irritation when feeding on humans.
Last full review/revision July 2011 by Michael L. Levin, PhD