Where I come from..


 Domain: Eukarya

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Arachnida

Order: Acari

Family: Ixodidae

Genus : Ixodes

Species: I. scapularis





Eukarya : The American deer tick can be classified under the Eukarya domain

                because it is a multicellular species whose cells contain a true nucleus

                along with membrane bound organelles.


Animalia: Some characteristics of organisms that are found in the animalia

                 kingdom are multicellularity, heterotrophic, absence of cell walls, and

                 exhibit motility. Most organisms under the kingdom animalia reproduce

                 sexually and do not undergo and alternation of generations.


Arthropoda: This organism can be classified under the phylum arthropoda

                      because it has a chitinous exoskeleton, segmented body, and

                      paired and jointed appendages. It is also triploblastic (containing

                      three tissue layers), coelomate, has a true digestive system, and

                      grows by molting.


Arachnida: Organisms that fall under the class Arachnida posses four pairs of

                   legs. Along with this, they have two additional pairs of appendages

                   that have been adapted for feeding, defense, reproduction and

                   sensory perception. The absence of wings and antennae are a clear

                   difference from insects. Their bodies are organized into two

                   segments, the cephalothorax and abdomen. Most arachnids are

                   terrestrial and have adapted to their habitat by aquiring internal



Acari: Those found under the order Acari possess hypostome with rutella or

           corniculi that was formed by palpcoxal endites medially fusing. They

           aquire a hexapod larval stage. Lastly, they no longer show a distinct

           opisthosomal segmentation.



Ixodidae: Organisms found in the family Ixodidae will share characteristics such

                 as having a prominent, hard, sclerotized scutum that covers the

                 anterior end of the female's dorsum. In males this scutum completely

                 covers their dorsum. In both female and males the palpal article IV is

                 reduced and buried in the cavity of article III. Another way to

                determine an organism from the family Ixodidae is the the wrinkles

                covering the integument, however the wrinkles will not be found in the

                area of their sclerotized plates.



Ixodes: Organisms found in the genus Ixodes have anal grooves that always  

 curve anterior to the anus and possess a hard body. They are not equipped with eyes but do possess sclerotized plates.  They are not host specific and therefore fed on a variety of hosts.  The male does not feed and are considered to be non-feeding. The larva have some specific characteristics as well being the fact that they have two pairs of post-hypostomal setae.  Most ticks in this genus transmit pathogenic bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi which normally results in the host acquiring Lyme disease.



I. scapularis


Latin meaning: The word "Ixodes" means hard tick.


For more information on tick taxonomy click here





The phylogenic tree above was constructed using molecular data based on small subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequences to further separate organisms found in the domain Eukarya. This phylogenic tree demonstrates the overall evolution of Eukaryotes from prokaryotes and bacteria. Eukaryotes can be defined by many features that are different from prokaryotes. Eukaryotes have an endomembrane system, are larger in size, possess chromosomes that are multiple and linear where as prokaryote’s chromosomes are singular and arranged in a circle. Another difference between the two is their means of reproduction, prokaryotes reproduce with means of fission and eukaryotes undergo mitosis. The Supergroups were constructed using molecular data, morphological characteristics and inter-Supergroup relationships. The tree starts with the five Supergroups of eukaryotes, Excavata, Chromalveolata, Rhizaria, Archeaplastida, and Unikonta. From there it is broken down into the Superlineages and Lineages. Each Lineage has specific characteristics that require it to break off of the Supergroup into more specific groups. From the Supergroups, Lineages and Superlineages evolve. You can follow the path from the Supergroup Unikonta to the Superlinage labeled Opisthokonts which then breaks into the animal lineage. 

For more classification information click here

Phylogenic tree fround in The Journal of Parasitology

This phylogenic tree is much more specific to the organism of interest. This tree is broken down into characteristics that separate a majority of the species in the genus Ixodes. This phylogenic tree was based on molecular based observations with the NJ method using PAUP.  This tree shows the relationship and/or differences between Ixodes Scapularis and other species under the genus Ixodes.



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