Phylogenetic analyses of the rhipicephaline ticks indicate that the genus Rhipicephalus is paraphyletic.Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2000 Jul; 16(1):1-7.MP
We inferred the phylogeny of 21 species and subspecies of ticks from the subfamilies Rhipicephalinae and Hyalomminae using cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and 12S rRNA mitochondrial gene sequences. Two members of the subfamily Haemaphysalinae were used for outgroup reference. The largest rhipicephaline genus, Rhipicephalus, was represented by ticks from six of the species groups, the second largest genus, Dermacentor, by species from two of three of its subgenera, and the genus Boophilus by 3 of its 5 species. We analyzed the 12S and COI sequences separately and together; statistically significant incongruence between the 12S rDNA and the COI sequences was not detected in the combined dataset using the incongruence length difference test. The combined dataset provided greater phylogenetic resolution than the individual datasets, and although the 12S rDNA data had only 25% of the parsimony-informative characters, it provided half of the total partitioned Bremer support for the combined dataset. We present the first hypothesis of phylogenetic relationships among some species groups of Rhipicephalus but our most controversial result was that the genus Rhipicephalus is apparently paraphyletic, unless species of Boophilus are included in it. The species of Rhipicephalus most closely related to Boophilus spp. were from the R. pravus and R. evertsi species groups, which may implicate an African origin for this important group of ticks.