Under a magnification of 207X, this scanning electron micrographic (SEM) image depicted a dorsal view of an unidentified engorged female tick which had been extracted from the skin of a pet cat while in the process of obtaining its blood meal. Seen here, is an enlarged view of the exoskeletal surface of the engorged abdomen, which reveals the wrinkled, expandable tissue that enables the tick to ingest huge quantities of blood.Note in PHIL 9959 and 9960, that in the case of another tick specimen, its entire dorsal abdomen is covered by its chitinous scutum, or 'shield', categorizing it as a male. In this specimen, the scutum only partially covers the dorsal abdomen (see PHIL 9972), which identifies this tick as a female.Ticks belong to the Phylum Arthropoda, due to the fact that they maneuver upon jointed ( 'Arthro') legs ('poda'), as well as the Class Arachnida, for they've eight of these legs, unlike insects, which use six legs to move about.
CDC/ Callie Carr
November 27, 2012
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