Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi



Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi


  • Last modified
  • 21 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Vector of Animal Disease
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Chelicerata
  •         Class: Arachnida
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Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi, one of 74 species in the genus, is a medium-sized dark brown tick with reddish-orange legs. The adults are easy to identify with their dark scutum and contrasting legs. A detailed taxonomic description is provided by Walker et al. (2000). The adults of R. e. evertsi are morphologically identical with Rhipicephalus evertsi mimeticus Donitz, 1910, with the exception of the colour of the legs which are annulated in R. e. mimeticus. In fact, attached adult R. evertsi mimeticus can be mistaken for attached Hyalomma species, which also have banded legs (Walker et al., 2000).

R. e. evertsi, or the red-legged tick, is a common rhipicephalid tick throughout sub-Saharan Africa, where it occurs on a great variety of domestic and wild hosts. Equidae (horses, donkeys, mules, zebra) are the preferred hosts of the adult ticks. The main importance of R. e. evertsi is its role as vector of protozoan parasites causing equine piroplasmosis (Babesia caballi and Theileria equi) (De Waal and Potgieter, 1987). The tick also plays a role in the transmission of anaplasmosis in cattle (Potgieter, 1981). Tick paralysis is induced in sheep infested by adult R. e. evertsi (Hamel and Gothe, 1978).


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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi (Neumann, 1897)

International Common Names

  • English: red-legged tick; tick, red legged

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Chelicerata
  •                 Class: Arachnida
  •                     Subclass: Acari
  •                         Order: Parasitiformes
  •                             Suborder: Ixodida
  •                                 Family: Ixodidae
  •                                     Genus: Rhipicephalus
  •                                         Species: Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi

Hosts/Species Affected

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R. e. evertsi is a two-host tick species (Rechav et al., 1977). The larva and the nymph feed on the same host; adults feed on a different host. All stages of development feed on large animals such as horses, cattle, zebras and eland (Taurotragus oryx). Domestic equids and wild zebras appear to be the preferred hosts (Hoogstraal, 1956; Norval, 1981). The adult tick is also frequently collected from sheep, goats, impala (Aepycerosmelampus), African buffalo (Synceruscaffer), blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) and greater kudu (Tragelaphusstrepsiceros) (Norval, 1981; Horak et al., 1992). Hares are good hosts of the immature stages. The red-legged tick is widely distributed in the Afrotropical region, and parasitizes many different hosts. The adult ticks, however, are seldom abundant; this is in contrast to the number of immatures taken from various hosts. The preferred site for the adult ticks is the perianal area (Hoogstraal, 1956). The immature stages attach mainly on the ear.


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R. e. evertsi is the most widespread rhipicephalid in the Afrotropical region. It is prevalent in the eastern half of Africa from South Africa to eastern Sudan. The tick is also present in West Africa, where it was probably introduced on domestic livestock from East Africa. It was also introduced into Yemen and Saudi Arabia (Pegram et al., 1982). R. e. evertsi has been collected at altitudes varying from just above sea level to approximately 2500 m, and appears to be commonest in regions with an annual rainfall between 400 and 1000 mm (Walker et al., 2000).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 10 Jan 2020


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Hamel HD; Gothe R, 1978. Influence of infestation rate on tick-paralysis in sheep induced by Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi Neumann, 1897. Veterinary Parasitology, 4:183-191.

Hoogstraal H, 1956. African Ixodoidae. 1. Ticks of the Sudan with special reference to Equatoria Province and with preliminary reviews of the genera Boophilus, Margaropus and Hyalomma. Research report NM, 1101 pp. Washington D.C.: Department of the Navy, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.

Horak IG; Boomker J; Spickett AM; Vos Vde, 1992. Parasites of domestic and wild animals in South Africa. XXX. Ectoparasites of kudus in the eastern Transvaal Lowveld and the eastern Cape Province. Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research, 59(4):259-273; 67 ref.

Jongejan F; Zivkovic D; Pegram RG; Tatchell RJ; Fison T; Latif AA; Paine G, 1987. Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) of the Blue and White Nile ecosystems in the Sudan with particular reference to the Rhipicephalus sanguineus group. Experimental and Applied Acarology, 3(4):331-346; 24 ref.

Kaiser MN; Sutherst RW; Bourne AS; Gorissen L; Floyd RB, 1988. Population dynamics of ticks on Ankole cattle in five ecological zones in Burundi and strategies for their control. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 6(3):199-222; 20 ref.

Norval RAI, 1981. The ticks of Zimbabwe. III. Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi. Zimbabwe Veterinary Journal, 12:31-35.

Pegram RG; Hoogstraal H; Wassef HY, 1982. Tick (Acari: Ixodoidae) of the Yemen Arab Republic. 1. Species infesting livestock. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 72:215-227.

Potgieter FT, 1981. Tick transmission of anaplasmosis in South Africa. In: Whitehead GB, Gibson JD, eds. Proceedings of an International Conference on Tick Biology and Control. Grahamstown, South Africa: Rhodes University, 53-56.

Rechav Y; Knight MM; Norval RAI, 1977. Life cycle of the tick Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi Neumann (Acarina: Ixodidae) under laboratory conditions. Journal of Parasitology, 63:575-579.

Waal DTde; Potgieter FT, 1987. The transstadial transmission of Babesia caballi by Rhipicephalus evertsi evertsi.. Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research, 54(4):655-656; 19 ref.

Walker JB; Keirans JE; Horak IG, 2000. The genus Rhipicephalus (Acari, Ixodidae). A Guide to the Brown Ticks of the World. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 643 pp.

Distribution References

CABI Data Mining, 2001. CAB Abstracts Data Mining.,

Distribution Maps

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