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Tick (Dermacentor sp.)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Tick.

 Updated: 10/25/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org




Ticks are tiny, but their reputation for disease and animal irritation make their recognition an important skill.



Ticks are parasites that feed off the blood of a host. Almost any warm-blooded animal will suffice. As they feed, they release anticoagulants, special chemicals that prevent blood from clotting (stopping). Their mouths are so tiny that most hosts like people and dogs do not feel the bite. They might not even realize they were a host even after the tick leaves. Fortunately, the American Dog Tick is not known to carry Lyme Disease, the most popular affliction associated with ticks.

Ticks are not bugs, they are arachnids, which means they have 8 legs. Some ticks are round (like beans) while others are flat with festoons (folds that look like a ridge) around their abdomen. All ticks are parasitic. Their body shape color can greatly change after a blood meal.

Some, but not all tick bites can develop a red ring, like a target, around the bite site. Complete and speedy removal of a tick from a host can help avoid the spread of tick-borne diseases.

Some species of tick are capable of spreading disease to humans (Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever). Although the infectious agent does not affect the tick, once it is passed through the tick's saliva into the human bloodstream, it can cause an array of symptoms including fatigue, headaches and general malaise. If you suspect you have been bitten by a tick, seeking the advice of a medical professional as soon as possible is prudent.





Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Acari
        Family: Ixodidae
          Genus: Dermacentor
            Species: sp.
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Dermacentor sp.
Category: Mite or Tick
Size (Adult; Length): 3mm to 5mm (0.12in to 0.20in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; brown; orange; red; yellow; pink
Descriptors: biting, harmful
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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State of Delware graphic
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.