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Help ID'ing tick-like insect

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Help ID'ing tick-like insect

Postby kcharles » Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:18 am

Greetings!

I live in rural central Vermont. My house is on seven acres, next to a small, shallow river. The lawn (about five acres of the property) is bordered by a couple acres of tall grass, bushes and shrubbery. I have been finding this insect on/in my clothing when I come in after walking outside. I have not yet had one bite me (not that I've noticed anyway!). It looks like some sort of tick I think, but it doesn't look like any of the ticks I've seen pictures of in my research, especially because of the coloring. I have attached a couple images of the live specimen and one of a dead specimen next to a penny for sizing purposes. Any ideas as to what it could be? Thanks for your help!

~Keri
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Postby Darby » Fri Jun 27, 2008 9:15 pm

Definitely not a tick - ticks don't have antennae.
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Re: Help ID'ing tick-like insect

Postby DrD » Sat Jun 28, 2008 3:43 pm

I confirm : definitely not a tick; Ticks are the largest of all mites (Acari) and are cousins to spiders; They have four pairs of walking legs, two pedipalps (sort of "smaller legs" in front, which they use as antennae or to manipulate food) and their body is only in two parts.

As you said it yourself, this animal is an insect : its body has three clearly separated parts including a mobile head with antennae, then a thorax with only three pairs of walking legs (and one or two pairs of wings), then an abdomen with no legs.

The picture is not clear enough to be sure but your specimen is most probably a coleopteran. Telling which one is quite a harder task, after all there are only 300,000 species described (;))

The worst thing you risk with a coleopteran this size is a sore eye if you look at it long enough (;)). Coleopteran have pincer-like mouthparts, not needle-like ones like ticks;

Cheers,

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Re: Help ID'ing tick-like insect

Postby jessibrown » Mon Jun 30, 2008 5:32 am

I was researching my own strange bug conundrum and came across your post. Your bug, to me, looks just like a bed bug. Here is a url with a picture
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11879079/di ... enumber/9/
Good luck! :shock:
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Re: Help ID'ing tick-like insect

Postby janb » Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:08 am

I am very interested in DrD's comments on ticks. We live in Alabama in rural area and have outside dogs, cats, and other critters. For the last 10 days we have been finding very small ticks, body about the size of the tip of a pencil lead, on our bodies. They are sometimes attached and sometimes not. I don't believe we are bringing them inside because I have found them on me when I have not been outside. They are all the same size (I have never seen ticks this small before). Is it possible we have unknowingly brought a tick inside that has produced an egg hatch? How to we go about eradication? The only inside animals we have are two fancy rats that never go outside. I have not found any ticks on them. And the only transmission vehicle going between the house and outside are myself and my husband.
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Postby Darby » Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:08 am

First and second instar ticks are very small. The good news is that they haven't had much chance to pick up disease organisms from hosts to pass on, especially if they've hatched in the house.
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