Tick Vectors / Photos

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These tick photos may help you to identify the different species of ticks and what they look like at various life stages. Some tick photos include objects to help you compare their size to the actual size of the ticks.

There are a number of ticks in the United States that can carry and/or transmit many diseases which people and their pets may get from a tickbite. Often, one tickbite can transmit several different diseases. The ticks most often talked about are the Ixodes scapularis, commonly known as the deer tick or blacklegged tick, and its western cousin, Ixodes pacificus, the western blacklegged tick. Both of these ticks transmit Lyme disease.

Information below is from LDA’s LymeR Primer  –  Available for online ordering

LDA’s Spanish LymeR Primer  –  Available for Downloading

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Latin Name (Common Name): Diseases they can transmit

Click photos for more descriptions

Ixodes scapularis
(deer tick or black legged tick)

Found in Northeast & Upper Midwest

Lyme (B. burgdorferi, B. mayonii), Borrelia miyamotoi, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, Powassan encephalitis, tick paralysis, tularemia, bartonellosis, ehrlichiosis (due to Ehrlichia muris-like).

Ixodes scapularis have been shown to carry Ehrlichiosis (HME), but to date, transmission is still in question

Amblyomma americanum (lone star tick)

Found throughout the Eastern part of United States

Human monocytic ehrlichiosis, Heartland (Phlebovirus), STARI (Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness), tularemia, tick paralysis, Q fever, bite may cause alpha-gal (meat) allergy

Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick)

Found throughout the United States

Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, tick paralysis.

Although a small percentage of dog ticks carry the Lyme bacterium, (Borrelia burgdorferi) transmission has not been proven.

Dermacentor andersoni
(Rocky Mountain wood tick)

Found in Rocky Mountain States & SW Canada

Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, Colorado tick fever, tick paralysis, Q fever.

Looks similar to American dog tick.

Ixodes pacificus
(western black legged tick)

Found in Western N. America

Lyme, babesiosis, anaplasmosis (aka human granulocytic ehrlichiosis), bartonellosis.

Ixodes pacificus has been shown to carry ehrlichiosis (HME), but to date, transmission is still in question.

Amblyomma maculatum
(Gulf Coast tick)

Found in Eastern & Southern U.S., esp. along coast

Rickettsia parkeri Rickettsiosis

Note symptoms: fever, headache, eschar(s), variable rash

Dermacentor occidentalis (Pacific Coast tick)

Found in Northern CA & Pacific Coast

 

Rickettsia phillipi (364D).

Note symptoms: fever, eschar(s).

 

 

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