Ixodidae is a family of ticks known as Hard Ticks. They are called hard ticks because they have a hard plate-like shield that covers their backs. As a hard tick feeds and swells up with blood, the shield on its back appears smaller and more towards its head. The genus contains a number of similar species such as Ixodes hexagonus, Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes trianguliceps. Detailed examination of each individual is required in order to determine species. Identification is further complicated by the fact that they are often found on the same host. Images included on this page show specimens that have not been identified to species level and are intended for illustrative purposes only.
The members of this group will feed by taking blood from various animals such as hedgehogs and foxes as well as cats and dogs.
All year round.
Ixodidae ticks attaching to a host will bite painlessly and generally be unnoticed. They remain in place until they engorge and are ready to change their skin; this process may take days or weeks. Some species drop off the host to moult in a safe place, whereas others only drop off once they are ready to lay their eggs.
Widespread and common in Britain.
Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
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