Jun 152015

Have you ever seen such a perfect microphotography of a tick ? This is the astonishing work of Paul Leroy again. Here is a female of Ixodes ricinus, commonly called the castor bean tick, this name sounds funny for the French speaking guy I am…

This tick has a very large distribution in Eurasia and is probably the most common tick found on people.

A female fasting tick has usually a size of 4 mm. The scutum is globally rouded, and slightly longer than large, as you can see on the photo. The posterior margin of the body is largely rounded, which gives this typical shape of castor bean (castor seed is a better appropriated term).

Each pair of coxa has an external short spur. The coxae I have a long internal spur. Coxae I are syncoxae, but the striated half posterior part is slightly visible.

Ixodes ricinus is an ubiquitous triphasic tick. It feeds on a wide variety of vertebrate hosts and is a vector of numerous pathogens (Flavivirus, Borrelia, Babesia, Rickettsia, Anaplasma, Louping ill,…).

Enjoy this outstanding photography, it looks like a very good color drawing !



Jun 082015

Hello world,

Here is a ventral view of a male of Haemaphysalis punctata. This tick is widespread in Europe but can be found also in central Asia.

The male has very long internal spurs on the coxas IV, as you can notice on the enclosed remarquable photo done by Paul Leroy. The tick shown appears differently as other ones you can find on the internet, because this is a microscopic mount, and the animal has been cleared to reach semi transparency.

According to the site quoted here below, this type of tick shows no preference for environment and can live in humid / cold, or warm / desertic environment. This is probably due to some specific adaptations…

According to an Ukrainian study (see here below), it can be found on very different types of hosts (wide range of mammals, birds, but also occasionnaly on reptile). Common hosts in human environment : cattle, sheep, goat, horse, deer, rabbit, humans…

As other ticks, it can transmit several types of diseases :

  • Rickettsia siberica,
  • Tickborne encephalitis virus
  • Babesia bobis, B. bigeminum…
  • Theileria mutans, T. recondita…
  • Coxiella burneti
  • Brucella melitensis
  • Bhanja virus
  • Francisella tularensis

With such diseases transmitted, it raises the question of good and evil. Is such a tick good or evil ? How can we accept the fact that such a being could have a benefic role in the animal reign diversity ? If you have your aswer to this question, let me know !

Litterature :

  • The ecology, bionomics, and behaviour of Haemaphysalis (Aboimisalis) punctata tick in central Europe, Josef Nosek (No open access)
    • In this document, you can have an overview of the big diversity of hosts for this type of tick.

Links :

Apr 302015

When I look at Google image, I cannot find any image of the larva of Haemaphysalis concinna. From now on this will change. Here is in exclusivity some shots of this interesting larva.

Maybe you wonder, how did he get a larva of Haemaphysalis concinna ? Ok, I am sure there are different ways to get them, by my way is not the common one. A friend of mine captured an engorged female, the female laid eggs in captivity, the eggs hatched, and here we are. You will probably say this guy has strange friends ?

Anyway I let these pictures with one question to the world. You will probably notice a sort of capsule between legs II & III, obviously by the way, this is an hexapod larva. This capsule is at the same place than the forthcoming stigmate. Is there a link between them ? Is this pore, I do not know how to call this, is something dedicated to respiration ? It would be kind of you to tell me, if you have the answer. We have such similar capsules in different parts of the body.

By the way does the Amblyommidae family still exist or NOT ? Specialists agree between each others ?

For my education and yours some information about this species (thanks to Bristol University) :

Hosts : mainly sheep, however has also been found on; deer, cattle, horse, dog, cat and hares. (but not humans ?)

Distribution : France, Germany, Poland and that’s all ?

Do you know something precise about the biotope ?


Apr 222015
Ixodes ricinus - larva

Let me start with this emblematic parasite (and mite by the way), because this is the most common tick in France, found on human I mean. I was struck by the strange beauty of these horrible parasites, when I first put one of them under the microscope. Here I focus on an observation of larva […]