A new tick species belonging to the African subgenus Afrixodes Morel, 1966, namely, Ixodes (Afrixodes) fynbosensis n. sp., is described. The female of I. fynbosensis is easily differentiated from the other African Ixodes species by a large, tapering triangular ventrolateral spur on palpal segment I. Nymph and larva of I. fynbosensis can be distinguished from those of other members of Afrixodes by a combination of the following characters: pointed hypostome, long auriculae, long and acute ventrolateral projections of basis capituli of nymph, only 2 pairs of central dorsal setae, and a straight posterior margin of scutum of the larva. Cytochrome oxidase I mtDNA sequence comparisons between I. fynbosensis and 10 other Ixodes Latreille, 1795, species support the recognition of this taxon as genetically distinct (>13% corrected sequence divergences separate it from the remainder of the 10 recognized species used in this study), and preliminary phylogenetic analyses reveal that this taxon is most closely related to the southern African Ixodes pilosus Koch, 1844, and Ixodes rubicundus Neumann, 1904. Ixodes fynbosensis is known only from South Africa, where females have been collected from a domestic dog and a rodent, Rhabdomys pumilio (Sparrman), and nymphs and larvae have been collected from R. pumilio and unidentified shrews belonging to the Soricidae. Sequences generated for both nymphs and adult individuals were identical, confirming the correlation between the described life stages.
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Vol. 97 • No. 3