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The fate and status of the supposed fossil tick Ixodes tertiarius Scudder, 1885

Dunlop, J.A.

2011 - Volume: 51 Issue: 4 pages: 399-404


Acari Ixodida fossil;Wyoming Eocene nomen dubium


A fossil described as Ixodes tertiarius Scudder, 1885 from Wyoming, USA represents the only non-amber record of a tick (Acari: Ixodida) from the Eocene. The original illustration does not include characters indicative of any particular modern tick genus; or even Ixodida in general. Unfortunately, efforts to track down the type specimen were unsuccessful and it is almost certainly lost. Confusion about the original place of publication is addressed, and given that there is an illustration associated with the original mention of the name it is not a nomen nudum. However, since it is impossible to verify the accuracy of this illustration against a type specimen – and given the absence of convincing taxonomic features in the figure – Ixodes tertiarius is considered here a nomen dubium which should be excluded from the tick fossil record.

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2011 Dunlop, J.A.
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