03 June 2009

First tick of the season

It has now become a routine for me to donate blood to at least one tick every year. Last year I returned from Illinois with a lone star tick attached to my leg. The year before, a tick and I enjoyed a Neil Young concert together.

I found this year's first tick on my arm last night 2 days after my last field trip, which was a successful search for the snail Cepaea nemoralis on Sunday. I got the tick either then or on Saturday when I was searching for slugs in the woods. Here it is on my arm still in the process of gorging itself on my hemoglobin.

tick5

My wife, who is an expert tick remover thanks to the frequent training opportunities I have provided for her over the years, quickly got it off. And here is a close-up of the beast.

tick6

It was ~1.5 mm long. I am assuming it is a nymph of a deer tick (Ixodes scapularis). I have posted a larger photo on BugGuide.net. Maybe I'll get a more definite identification from there.

Meanwhile, I still have an itchy, red swelling on my arm where the tick was.

5 comments:

Simla said...

eeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!

John said...

I got bitten by a deer tick nymph a few weeks ago. Luckily it was not embedded long enough to get much blood out of me (or transfer any disease).

O. B. Sirius said...

I got "good" at removing ticks when I spent time at Assateague.

Good photo!

Anonymous said...

Excellent photo of the tick! As I said once before, you could be the glamour photographer to the stars of the invertebrate world! You make them look beautiful and alluring!

Susan J. Hewitt

Frank Anderson said...

I've had more ticks this year than I've ever had before. A couple of days ago, I found a big lone star tick locked onto my right...ahem. No need to go there, really. And the bites have been itching like crazy!