The group is a suborder under the order of Parasitiformes. The members of this group are temporary, blood-sucking ectoparasites of mammals, birds and reptiles. The body consists of the frontal capitulum and the main body (idiosoma) which has four pairs of legs. Each leg has 6 clearly defined segments and 2 claws at the end. The capitulum has a terminal structure, the hypostome, which functions as anchoring structure and often contains lateral hooks. During feeding, the tick creates a wound in the skin with its chelicerae and attaches itself to the host with its hypostome. The mouth which lies under the hypostome then sucks up the blood.
The following families are currently included under Ixodida (ticks):