Tick Anatomy

Ixodes ricinus
 [André Karwath]

I have become fascinated with tick anatomy mainly due to the ‘Tick Identification Key‘ website provided by the University of Lincoln, UK. There are a number of new terms I have come across and so I felt that writing them down here will, at least, work someway towards remembering them.

Basis capituli Attaches head to body can be various shapes, such as rectangular or hexagonal. Usually comprises porose areas like eyes.
Capitulum Head or mouthpart of the tick made up of palpi and three segments or articles.
(Palpi Part of mouthpart made up of four segments.)
Coxa Base of the legs, attachment to body.
Festoons Festoons Wrinkles located at the bottom of the back.
Haller’s organ Sensory structure sensitive to humidity and odours situated at the tip of the first tarsus of the first walking leg.
Hypostome Extension of the basis capituli.
Idiosoma Body of tick or mites.
Pulvilli Pads present at the end of the legs.
Claws At the end of pads help tick to attach to host
Scutum Hard shield found on the back of the tick. Expands over the whole back in males, but only 1/3 of the back in females.
Spurs Pointed structures found at base of coax.

See also:
Ixodida, Tree of Life
Tick, Wikipedia
Ticks, Department of Medical Entomology, University of Sydney and Westmead Hospital, Australia

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