Photo and description of tick species

Ticks are animals from the arachnid class. Today, more than 54 thousand species of these arthropods have already been found and described. Of the total, 144 species have become extinct. The rest is still alive. This is the largest group of the arachnid class.The small size and rather wide food spectrum helped the ticks to “conquer the world”.

Principles of classification

Varieties of ticks have different food preferences. Some feed on the sap of plants, others on decaying organic matter, others on the blood, fourth on dead epidermis and wool. But there are no highly specialized species among them. If the juice is the juice of many plants. If blood, then from all warm-blooded organisms that live in the area. If organic, it is still vegetable or animal origin. Mite classification multistage. These animals are divided into groups not only by way of life, but also by type of food and appearance.

On a note!

These arthropods are not insects, they are closer to animals, such as spiders, crabs, and crayfish.

What are the mites

The classification of living organisms in biology is based on phylogenesis — the evolutionary origin and development of species. But about the phylogenesis of ticks among scientists debate continues and in the future the data may change.

On a note!

Today, the suborder of ticks is divided into two large groups: parasitiform and acariform.

The first group includes parasites, predators and saprophages (organic processors). In the second group, all of the above are also present, but these animals are able to complete the construction of segments in the process of life.

Parasitiform ticks

Parasitiform ticks
Parasitiform ticks

Parasitiformes includes:

  • Detachment Opilioacarida, which includes only one family of mowing pliers. The family contains 25 modern species.
  • Detachment Ixodida includes one superfamily of ixodoid ticks, which is divided into 3 families: Ixodid, Argas, Nuttalliellidae are endemics of Africa, which have a single species in the family.
  • Order Holothyrida contains 27 species, but they are all found in the southern regions of the planet and feed on the hemolymph of deceased arthropods.
  • The Mesostigmata detachment, the most numerous in the super-detachment, includes more than 70 families, containing a total of 8,000 species of ticks. Representatives of this squad are predators.

On a note!

For a person of interest are the detachment of Ixodide and mezostigamata. The first because of the danger to life, the second useful as an aid in the fight against pests.

Acariform mites

Acariform mites
Acariform mites

In this nadotryad arachnids there are more than 30 thousand species. The classification of acariform mites is quite complicated and is carried out according to different methods.Sarcoptoid mites that cause ear scabies are of interest in this superorder.

What mites look like: all members of this sub-order have similar morphological features by which they can be unmistakably identified. In detail, the description of the types of mites differs: the parasites have powerful tenacious legs, helping to stay on the host. Their oral apparatus is structurally different from the oral apparatus of animals that feed on organic matter. But the general description is similar.

  • The body is round or ovate, flattened above and below. Usually the body is whole, but can be divided into 2 parts, the border between the cephalothorax and the abdomen passes closer to the front of the body.
  • There are usually 4 simple eyes on the head, but in some types of eyes there may be 5 or less 4 up to 1.
  • Ticks usually have 12 appendages arranged in pairs. 4 rear pairs - legs. The tips of the legs are equipped with claws and suckers for better retention on the surface.
  • The larvae are usually six-pointed. The two front pairs are part of the oral system.
  • The body in some species (dog mites and others) can be protected by a chitinous shield. In other species (like the Persian tick) the body is soft.
  • The length of hungry ticks from 0.2 to 5 mm.

Mites parasites

Ixodic and sarcoptoid ticks are attacking humans. Of the latter, the person most often infected with itchy mite, causing scabies. The second parasite of this group is the ear tick, which feeds on fat and subcutaneous lymph excreted in the ears. As a result of the vital activity of sarcoptoid ticks, a person experiences an itch. Scabies mites are so small that they can only be seen under a microscope. A large photo of the mite Otodectes cynotis below.

Brief description and names of tick species

All 54 thousand can be described only by the guidebook on acarins, therefore it is necessary to limit oneself to the most common and living within the reach of the inhabitants of the Russian Federation.


Ixodic tongs
Ixodic tongs

This group of ticks in Russia is widespread. The three most common species received the collective name "forest" for their addiction to forest biotopes. All types of forest ticks prefer deciduous and mixed forests. Of these, the most common:

  • canine;
  • taiga;
  • meadow (Dermacentor reticulatus);
  • genus Haemaphysalis.

These species are the main carriers of diseases in the Russian territory.The dog tick known to everyone is spread throughout the Russian Federation. The main habitat is forest and meadow, but it is found even in cities “on asphalt”. There parasites get, "having arrived" on animals. The drunk female falls away and lays eggs where it fell. She is not able to crawl away.

Mite with a pattern on the back - meadow (Dermacentor reticulatus). In the forests without undergrowth, it does not occur. This mite is waiting for the victim in the grass, because of what it is often called herbal. Prefers open spaces: edges, water meadows, pastures. It can tolerate flooding with melt water. Very cold resistant. Its activity begins earlier than that of the taiga. The peak of activity is in April-May. It stops its activities only with the onset of cold weather.

His closest relatives of the same kind are found:

  • pasture (Dermacentor marginatus) in the steppes and forest-steppes of Kazakhstan, the European part of the Russian Federation, the Transcaucasus, in Central Asia, in the south of Western Siberia;
  • Dermacentor nuttali - Siberian forests;
  • Dermacentor silvarum - forest-steppe of Eastern Siberia and the Far East.

All these species have a characteristic pattern on the back, which can be seen in the photo of the mite meadow below.

Types of ticks
Types of ticks

Taiga, in addition to the "honorary" title of encephalitis, is also called "tree tick".He does not sit in the trees, waiting for the victim, but few people wonder where this animal came from on their clothes. Many believe that jumped off a branch of a tree. Especially since this species prefers forests rather than open spaces.

Similar habits in the family of Ixodes Haemaphysalis. But ticks of this family prefer deciduous forests, where they wait for the victim, sitting on the grass. They live in the Crimea, in the Far East and Transcaucasia. They can be found in the south of Altai, Western Siberia and Transbaikalia.


All ixodic ticks transmit the same diseases dangerous to humans, including encephalitis. Any type of ixodid has the full right to be called encephalitis, as this family of ticks parasitizes animals and humans. A tick infected by an animal transmits the disease to humans.

In Ixodes, not only the appearance, but also the way of life are similar. The sexually mature female mite feeds only once, preferring large mammals. The drunk female falls away from the victim to complete the breeding cycle. Ticks of the Ixodid family lay up to 17 thousand eggs. Only few survive before puberty due to the large number of natural enemies and difficulties with finding a victim.The female makes laying on damp soil. The hatched larva finds the prey and, having drank blood, falls off to become a nymph. The actions of the nymph are exactly the same.

Natural enemies

Ixodes feed on:

  • birds;
  • small reptiles;
  • predatory insects;
  • other predatory mites;
  • ants

The destruction of the habitat of these creatures leads to an increase in the number of ticks.


Argas mites
Argas mites

This family includes the largest representatives of the super-order ticks. The size of argastate arthropods can be from 3 to 30 mm. The total number of species in the family is 200. 12 species can attack humans, causing a strong allergic reaction. Also argas suffer 2 types of relapsing fever and tick-borne borreliosis. For a person are dangerous:

  • Persian;
  • Caucasian;
  • settlement;
  • shell.

Europe and Russia have known each other for a long time. Persian - a new kind of ticks, imported from the Middle East. In endemic areas it carries fever, which is very difficult for foreigners.

Outwardly and in behavior is very similar to the bug, but larger. Body length up to 10 cm, width up to 5 mm. The main object of attack - the birds. It also attacks people and is able to jump on a person from the ceiling. Active at night.

On a note!

Ticks do not build nests, but a Persian tick female lays 30-100 eggs in cracks on the walls. Such a clutch can be equated to a nest, especially with the mass reproduction of arthropods.

The appearance of the Persian tick can be viewed in the photos below, so as not to confuse it with a bug.

Sarcoptiform mites

Sarcoptiform mite and saprophyte mite
Sarcoptiform mite and saprophyte mite

This unit includes species that cause demodicosis in animals and scabby itch (Sarcoptes scabiei), which affects humans. Sarcoptiform ticks of animals and human do not intersect. That is, you cannot get scabies from a dog.

The external characteristics of the mites of the Sarcoptiformes unit are so similar that there are debates in academic circles whether to consider them as one species or as several. But the food objects of these small arthropods are different. Photo of a human tick causing scabies below.

But not all arthropods are equally harmful. There are also harmless and even necessary.


These are arthropods that feed on decaying organic matter. Mites saprophytes are relatively harmless. Most of them recycle rotting organics, improving soil quality like earthworms.But the “dust allergy” known to many people is actually caused by the presence of Dermatophagoides farinae dust mites in the house.

These are microscopic creatures of size 0.1–0.5 mm. They feed on the scales of the epidermis, particles of fallen hair and animal hair, waste products.

“Allergy to dust” is actually not caused by the house dust, but by the excrement of dust mites and particles of the shells of dead arthropods. Dermatophagoides farinae live in untidy dust in the corners and under furniture, in sofas, pillows, and mattresses. To get rid of this type of arachnids, regular thorough cleaning and processing of upholstered furniture is carried out.

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