On the system of classification of ticks of the family Argasidae
1969 - Volume: 11 Issue: 1 pages: 1-22
KeywordsAcari Argasidae classification
The system of the ticks of the family Argasidae proposed by us 20 years ago (M. V. PosPELOVA-SHTROM, 1946, 1953) has passed a thorough and extensive check-up by now, all its major conceptions having attained weighty support. This manifests of the natural character of this system. All the newly described forms of the Argasidae ticks find their place in it requiring only its further extension and development, which is being done by us at present. The phylogenetic concepts of our system throw light on the mutual relationships of the Argasidae ticks and facilitate the construction of theoretical conceptions for instance about the formation of the fauna complexes of the Argasidae and about the dispersion of these ticks over the continents of the world in the remote past. The narrower conception of genera than one, which was adopted formerly, proposed by us proved to be suitable because it overcame the deadlock arisen in the systematics of the Argasidae ticks in connection with the discovery of forms being intermediate between the genera Argas and Ornithodoros. At the same time it provided a better characteristics of genera and subgenera of the Argasidae ticks, which considerably facilitates the identification of these ticks in practice. In their classification of Argasidae ticks CLIFFORD, KoHLS and SoNENSHINE (1964) accepted the subdivision of the family Argasidae, proposed by us, into two subfamilies (Ornithodorinae and Argasinae), as well as almost all of the genera and subgenera adopted by us (except the subgenus Theriodoros) but all of them were placed at the same subgeneric level. Several new subgenera were erected in addition. The grouping of genera into tribes, suggested by us, which clearly shows our ideas about the mutual relations and trends in the evolution of the Argasidae ticks, was not taken by these authors into account. In the classification by CLIFFORD and co-workers the phylogenetic relationships among the Argasidae ticks are designated only by means of distributing the species among the subgenera. The majority of genera is understood too extensively, the genera include remote groups of the Argasidae ticks, due to which the diagnoses of these genera are extremely vague, not exact and not good enough for practical use. The subgenera present groups of different taxonomie category because of which the subgenera are not equivalent (e.g. the subgenera Alveonasus and Persicargas). The species within the subgenera are placed in the alphabetic order and in this way the evidently closely related species are often disrupted in the list. In the long run it seems to us that the system of the Argasidae ticks, proposed by us, advantageously differs from the classification of these ticks by CLIFFORD and co-workers, that appeared later, by its greater validity and natural character and therefore it may evidently better meet the requirements of the theory and practice. In the paper under consideration by CLIFFORD and co-workers (1964) a number of omissions and distortions of the data of the Soviet authors were made that is to be corrected.
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