Abstract This study describes the morphology of salivary glands of Rhipicephalus ( Boophilus) microplus female ticks at beginning of feeding (24–48 h of attachment) and semi-engorged (4–5 days of attachment) to verify the degenerative characteristics of these organs and the secretory phase in which the process begins. At the beginning of feeding, secretion granules had been observed only in the cytoplasm of cells b, c 1 , c 2 , c 4 (type II acinus) and d (type III acinus), as well as large nuclei with regular and preserved morphology. In the semi-engorged females the acini presented few normal cells, few partially preserved ones, and the remaining ones in several stages of degeneration, that is, with retraction and cytoplasmic vacuolization, and nuclei with chromatin in several stages of condensation, picnotic and/or in fragmentation. In type I acinus and in the excretory ducts of the studied glands, at both feeding stages, no degenerative characteristic was observed. In females of R. ( B.) microplus, the salivary glands degenerate asynchronically and precociously when compared with those of others tick's species.