STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ixodes tick mouthparts, animated scanning electron micrograph (SEM). The mouthparts of a ixodes tick consist of three visible components. The two outer jointed parts are highly mobile palps. Between the palps, at centre, is a rod-shaped structure, the hypostome. The palps do not enter the skin of the host while the tick is feeding, while the hypostome is inserted into the host's skin. The backward-pointing projections prevent easy removal of the tick. Lyme disease (caused by ixodes) occurs when the biting tick transmits a bacterium to humans. Lyme disease causes fever, muscle pain, and inflamed joints.
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