(Redirected from Cosmiomma hippopotamensis)

Cosmiomma is a genus of ticks first discovered by Paul Schulze in 1919.[2] It is monospecific, being represented by the single species Cosmiomma hippopotamensis.[3] It was first described in 1843 by Henry Denny from specimens collected from a hippopotamus in Southern Africa,[1] and has been called "one of the most unusual, beautiful, and rare tick species known to the world."[3]

Cosmiomma hippopotamensis by Dönitz 1910, male.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Ixodida
Family: Ixodidae
Genus: Cosmiomma
Schulze, 1919
C. hippopotamensis
Binomial name
Cosmiomma hippopotamensis
Denny, 1843[1]

Taxonomy and systematicsEdit

The taxonomic position of the genus Cosmiomma has been unstable since the male and female of the type species were first described as two separate species.[4] As late as 1997, two published studies based on the type species' morphology concluded separately that Cosmiomma was most closely related to Rhipicephalus species ticks and that Cosmiomma was more closely related to Dermacentor species.[3]

The name "cosmiomma" is believed to be derived from the Greek “cosmima,” meaning jewelry and “omma,” meaning eye.[3]


Adults have an ornate black pattern on their pale yellowish scutum, and light-colored mottling on the dorsal surfaces of their legs.[5] They are relatively large ticks, averaging 8.5 mm (0.3 inch) in length and 6 mm (0.2 inch) in breadth.[6] They are morphologically similar to, but uniquely different from, certain species of Amblyomma, Dermacentor, and Hyalomma genera of ticks.[3]

Distribution and habitatEdit

Cosmiomma hippopotamensis have been recorded from widely separated localities in east and southern Africa, including Namibia, Angola, and Kenya.[5][7] They have been collected from the common hippopotamus and the black rhinoceros, the latter of which is believed to be its most likely primary host.[5] Questing ticks have also been collected from vegetation.[3]


  1. ^ a b Denny, Henry (November 1843). "XXXVIII.— Description of Six supposed new species of Parasites". Annals and Magazine of Natural History. 12 (78): 312–316. doi:10.1080/03745484309442530.
  2. ^ Paul Schulze. 1919. Bestimmungstabelle für das Zeckengenus Hyalomma, Koch. Sitzungsberichte der Gesellschaft Naturforschender Freunde zu Berlin, 5:189–196,, last accessed 24 Jun 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Apanaskevich, Dmitry A.; Walker, Jane B.; Heyne, Heloise; Bezuidenhout, J. Dürr; Horak, Ivan G. (1 July 2013). "First Description of the Immature Stages and Redescription of the Adults of Cosmiomma hippopotamensis (Acari: Ixodidae) With Notes on Its Bionomics". Journal of Medical Entomology. 50 (4): 709–722. doi:10.1603/me12271. PMC 4807616. PMID 23926768.
  4. ^ Guglielmone, A. A.; Petney, T. N.; Mastropaolo, M.; Robbins, R. G. (29 September 2017). "Genera, subgenera, species and subspecies of hard ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) described, named, renamed or given new rank by Paul Schulze (1887–1949) and their current status". Zootaxa. 4325 (1): 1. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4325.1.1.
  5. ^ a b c Walker, Jane B. (June 1991). "A review of the ixodid ticks (Acari, Ixodidae) occurring in southern Africa". The Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research. 58 (2): 81–105. hdl:2263/41388. PMID 1881661. S2CID 1286104.
  6. ^ Don R. Arthur. Ticks, A Monograph of the Ixodiodea, Part V on the Genera Dermacentor, Anocentor, Cosmiomma, Boophilus & Margaropus. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1960, pp. 197-204,, last accessed 24 Jun 2019.
  7. ^ Bezuidenhout, J.D.; Schneider, H.P. (1 September 1972). "Studies on the biology of Cosmiomma hippopotamensis Denny, 1843 in South West Africa". Journal of the South African Veterinary Association. 43 (3): 301–304. hdl:10520/AJA00382809_4777. PMID 4656096.

External linksEdit