Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Tick


Tick and ruler
Tick and ruler  
QUESTION: This tick was found crawling on our dog at about 12:45 PM on the afternoon of Oct. 13, 2014, in Mahoning County, Ohio.

We have had many dog ticks over the years, but this one is so tiny, we're afraid it might be a deer tick, which we've never had.  It is about 2mm. long.

Can you please identify this insect?  Thank you very much.

ANSWER: Leslie:

Thank you for including the images with your question.  Unfortunately, the tick is on its back, and I need to see the top to make an accurate ID.

Pretty certain this is *not* a deer tick, though, but probably an immature wood tick (Dermacentor sp. of which the American Dog Tick, D. variabilis is most common), or possibly a Lone Star Tick.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Tick 3
Tick 3  
QUESTION: Thank you for your quick response.  I apologize for sending a picture of the tick on its back.  I've attached a photo, right-side up, which I took this morning (Oct. 14.)  I hope a night in the freezer hasn't changed its appearance.


I'm afraid I would need to see the specimen itself to make an accurate ID.  You may want to take the specimen to a local entomologist at a university (Ohio State), natural history museum, or even the public health department (vector control division will have at least one staff entomologist).  He or she can then put it under a microscope and render a verdict.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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