Record Longevity and Reproduction of an African Tick, Argas brumpti (Ixodida: Argasidae)

J Med Entomol. 2022 Mar 16;59(2):777-778. doi: 10.1093/jme/tjab205.


Argas brumpti Neumann is a large argasid (soft) tick that inhabits the drier areas of eastern and southern Africa. This species typically feeds on a wide variety of small to large mammals (including humans) and lizards, and resides in shallow caves, rocky areas, or dust-bath areas used by large mammals. Individuals of this species, collected as nymphs and adults from a semidesert area of Kenya and subsequently maintained under constant conditions in the laboratory, survived for 27 yr. Furthermore, after 8 yr of starvation and at least 4 yr after the last male died, at least one female laid eggs. The progeny developed into considerable numbers of both males and females, some of which are still living after 26 yr. The longevity of these ticks is apparently a record for any species of tick. The delay in reproduction likely represents long-term storage of viable sperm, also apparently a record for any species of tick.

Keywords: Argas brumpti; longevity; soft tick; sperm storage.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Argas*
  • Argasidae*
  • Female
  • Kenya
  • Male
  • Mammals
  • Reproduction
  • Ticks*