Vinny's picture

Castor Bean Tick

Observed: 15th May 2010 By: VinnyVinny’s reputation in InvertebratesVinny’s reputation in InvertebratesVinny’s reputation in InvertebratesVinny’s reputation in Invertebrates
Tick_IMG_6735.jpg
Description:

Spotted this blighter lurking on a birch leaf. Glad I saw it before it didn't attach itself to me - this is a species known to transmit Lyme Disease.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

miked's picture

Very nice colouration.

Very nice colouration.

Kluut's picture

Very interesting

Also known as sheep tick, deer tick etc.
The one in the photo' is an unfed female, final instar. She will need a blood meal before she can lay and will expand to around 10mm across as she feeds.
I can no longer find it, but there is a very comprehensive account on the www from a tick expert at a UK university who states that they do not climb trees. He states that they climb vegetation, but only to something like 18 inches - 45cm.
I know that they do climb trees as they are a considerable problem in the garden here and they get to places that can only mean that they do climb trees.
What sort of height from the ground was this one?

Vinny's picture

She was on a small birch

She was on a small birch sapling about 18 inches tall. I guess that's a good height to hook onto passing deer legs as well as smaller mammals. I've also seen considerable numbers of ticks on Sand Lizards in the same area - and removed more than a few from myself after my walks there!

Kluut's picture

Thanks

Well, the height fits with received wisdom - blast!
They give me the creeps - really gross pests, second only to louse flies as far as I am concerned, which really do make my skin crawl.