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).