Other tick species found in Québec

The different species of ticks are grouped into three large families commonly known as hard ticks, soft ticks and a third, intermediate family. In Québec, 12 tick species have been identified so far and all belong to the family of hard ticks.

This identification guide presents the different tick species that are most commonly found in Québec and that bite humans and their pets. These different tick species belong to the following five genera: Amblyomma, Dermacentor, Ixodes, Rhipicephalus and Haemaphysalis. It is worth noting that there are a lot of other tick genera and species that can come into contact with humans around the world, but information about these lies beyond the scope of this identification guide.

Different species of female ticks not engorged with blood: (1) Ixodes scapularis, (2) Ixodes cookei, (3) Dermacentor variabilis, (4) Amblyomma americanum, (5) Rhipicephalus sanguineus and (6) Haemaphysalis leporispalustris. Distance between each line on the scale: 1 millimetre.

Review of the morphological characteristics of ticks

Dorsal surface (left) and ventral surface (right) of the Dermacentor variabilis tick.

Positioning of the eyes of ticks (red dots).
Note that they are found on the tick’s abdomen and not on its head.

Comparison of different morphological criteria of the 5 genera of ticks most commonly found in Québec

GenusDorsal ShieldLength of palps relative to basis capituliFestoonsEyesanal Groove
IxodesInornateVaries according to speciesAbsentAbsentAbove the anus
DermacentorOrnateSimilar to the basis capituliPresentPresentBelow the anus
AmblyommaOrnateLonger than basis capituliPresentPresentBelow the anus
RhipicephalusInornateSimilar in length to basis capituliPresentPresentBelow the anus
HaemaphysalisInornateSimilar in length to basis capituliPresentAbsentBelow the anus