JANNICKE WIIK-NIELSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JANNICKE WIIK-NIELSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a sheep tick (Ixodes ricinus) spiracle. The spiracle, or air pore, is part of the tick's respiratory system. Air diffuses into the spiracle and circulates the body in a network of tubes called tracheae. Waste gases exit the body through the spiracles. Ticks are able to close their spiracles and can survive for long periods without air exchange. I. ricinus is a blood-sucking parasite of animals and humans and the principal vector of Lyme disease in Europe. The tick is widely distributed and is typically found in wooded and grassy areas. Magnification: x770 when printed at 10cm wide.
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