Two exotic species of ticks have been discovered for the first time in Rhode Island, state officials announced Monday.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management said both Asian and Eurasian ticks were discovered on Block Island as part of a decade-long study of ticks on the island.
“It was confirmed by DNA and morphological characteristics that they are ticks not previously found in Rhode Island,” the agency said.
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The ticks were discovered by Danielle M. Tufts, a former associate research scientist at Columbia University.
Tufts identified the tick species Haemaphysalis longicornis, also known as the Asian longhorn tick, and Haemaphysalis punctata when studying ticks on Block Island this summer.
The ticks were originally thought to be native, but on further examination were found to be exotic species.
The Asian longhorn tick was first detected in the U.S. in 2017 in New Jersey, but archived