Microscopic Detail of Tick
Under a low magnification of 100X, this scanning electron micrographic image depicts a dorsal view of an unidentified engorged female tick, which had been extracted from the skin of a cat while in the process of obtaining its blood meal. Note the presence of some of the cat's fur, along with some of its skin tissue in which the tick's gnathosoma were still embedded. It is from the basis capituli that the two spread pedipalps, and hidden skin-piercing hypostome and chelicerae emanate. On the dorsal surface of the basis capituli you'll see two depressed areas, known as the porous areas, through which secretions produced by dermal glands are released. Ticks are vectors for a number what are termed Arboviruses, or, Arthropod-borne viruses, including Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi), Rocky Mountain spotted fever (Rickettsia rickettsii), Tularemia (Francisella tularensis), and Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia chaffeensis). Other diseases that you can get from a tick in the United States include anaplasmosis, Colorado tick fever, and Powassan encephalitis. Some species and some life stages of ticks are so small they can be difficult to see, but all hungrily look for animals and people to bite. Depending on the species, you can find ticks in various environments, often in, or near wooded areas. You may come into contact with ticks when walking through infested areas, or by brushing up against infested vegetation such as leaf litter or shrubs. Ticks also feed on mammals and birds, which play a role in maintaining ticks and the pathogens they carry.