Rhipicephalus sanguineus s.l. (Latreille, 1806), the brown dog tick, is the most widely distributed tick species in the world. The two dominant lineages, a temperate group and a tropical group, are recognized as important disease vectors for both dogs and humans. The temperate and tropical lineages overlap in range in some regions of the world, including the southwestern United States, where recent outbreaks of Rocky Mountain spotted fever are linked to R. sanguineus s.l. While it is unclear to what extent they may differ in their capacity to transmit pathogens, finer-scale resolution of temperate and tropical lineage distribution may provide insight into the ecology of these two tick groups and the epidemiology of R. sanguineus s.l.-vectored diseases. Using diagnostic polymerase chain reaction assays, we examined the geospatial trends in R. sanguineus s.l. lineages throughout Arizona. We found the temperate and tropical lineages were well delineated, with some overlap in the eastern part of the state. In one county, tropical and temperate ticks were collected on the same dog host, demonstrating that the two lineages are living in sympatry in some instances and may co-feed on the same host.
Keywords: Rhipicephalus sanguineus; acarology; ticks.