Dermacentor andersoni

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Rocky Mountain wood tick
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Subclass: Acari
Superorder: Parasitiformes
Order: Ixodida
Family: Ixodidae
Genus: Dermacentor
Species: D. andersoni
Binomial name
Dermacentor andersoni
Stiles, 1908
Dermacentor andersoni range map.svg

Dermacentor andersoni, commonly known as the Rocky Mountain wood tick, is a species of tick.[1] It can cause tick paralysis. This tick is well known as a vector of the Rocky Mountain spotted fever rickettsia in the northwestern U.S. and Canada, the Colorado tick fever virus, and the bacteria which causes tularemia (hunter's disease).[2]

Diagnostic features:

  • The larva only has three pairs of legs.
  • The nymph has four pairs.
  • A single pair of spiracular openings (stigmata) are seen close to the coxae (leg bases or segments) of the fourth pair of legs (except in larvae).
  • A terminal capitulum (mouthparts) is visible from above in all hatched stages.
  • A large sclerite called the scutum is present dorsally behind the capitulum. The scutum almost entirely covers the back of the male, but only partly covers the back of the female.
  • Eyes, if present, are on the scutum.
  • Sexual dimorphism in size and colour is frequent. The female is often larger.
  • The posterior margin of opisthosoma is usually subdivided into sclerites called festoons.
  • The pedipalps are rigid along the chelicerae, and are not leg-like.

See also[edit]