Under a magnification of 380X, approximately 4 times greater than PHIL 9962, this scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicted a dorsal view of an unidentified male Dermacentor sp. tick found upon a cat in the suburbs of Decatur, Georgia, which measured approximately 3.5mm from its gnathosoma (i.e., capitulum), which is where its mouthparts are located, to the distal abdominal margin (PHIL 9961). Note in PHIL 9959 and 9960, that the entire dorsum of this tick's abdomen is covered by its tough 'scutum', or 'shield', categorizing it as a male. In female Ixodid-species ticks, the scutum only partially covers the dorsal abdomen. Seen clearly in this image is the tick's pedipalps, between which is located its skin-piercing hypostome and chelicerae. Note PHIL 9964 for an additional view of this region under a greater magnification.
CDC/ Callie Carr
November 27, 2012
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