Under a low magnification of 23X, 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. Note the presence of some of the cat's fur, along with some of its skin tissue in which the tick's gnathosoma was still embedded, while it had been obtaining a blood meal from its feline host. Also worthy of note, is the subtle demarcation of the 'scutum', or chitinous 'shield' on the tick's back, signifying that this was, indeed, a female. Note in PHIL 9959 and 9960, that the entire dorsum of that tick's abdomen is covered by its scutum, categorizing it as a male. In female Ixodid-species ticks, the scutum only partially covers the dorsal abdomen. 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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