DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Lone star tick head (Amblyomma americanum). A common 'wood tick' that includes other members, such as, the brown dog tick and the American dog tick. The mouthparts are a piercing and sucking type. The tick feeds by making a small incision in the skin with their barbed and piercing mouthparts. They insert their mouthparts and set the anchoring barbed teeth (hypostomer) in to the skin. They then secrete a fluid that cements their mouthparts into the skin. Lone star ticks live in wooded areas with underbrush, along creeks and rivers near animal resting places. Tick bites can be painful and cause localized inflammation, swelling and loss of blood. They may transmit disease agents, such as, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia. Magnification: x22 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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