Tick with partial lime green coloring.
August 7, 2009
Hi Bugman, Thanks for your site, I’ve been enjoying it many years now.
I live in Iron River, (Upper Peninsula) MI. There are so many ticks here that I use a lint roller/remover to take them from my clothing. I have learned to identify them but this little guy has colors I’ve never seen. Is it a new species or just a mutation?
Thank and keep up the good work.
Boyd, Iron River MI
Iron River MI USA
The coloration on your photo looks suspiciously like paint, and we know that scientists sometimes mark insects with paint to identify them if they are recaptured. We decided to do a web search of “tick green paint” and came up with a hit, but sadly, the hit is for an online article on Veterinary Parasitology: Co-feeding studies of ticks infected with Anaplasma marginale that the reader needs to subscribe to. We did manage to copy this sentence from the brief description in the web search description: “Infected and uninfected ticks, marked with different colors of model rocket spray paint (infected ticks, red and uninfected ticks, green;” If this pertains to your Tick, it is nice to know it is not infected. Here is the only portion of the article available in the search: “Katherine M. Kocan, and José de la Fuente
Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA
Received 26 June 2002; revised 26 November 2002; accepted 8 January 2003. ; Available online 8 February 2003.
Ticks often cluster at preferred feeding sites on hosts, and the co-feeding of ticks at the same site has been shown to increase feeding success and the transmission of some pathogens. While the major route of infection of ticks with pathogens is via the bloodmeal during feeding on a parasitemic host, non-systemic transmission of viruses and spirochetes has been shown to occur from infected to uninfected ticks at common feeding sites on uninfected hosts. In this research, two separate studies were done using the tick-borne rickettsial pathogen of cattle, Anaplasma marginale. In one study we tested whether A. marginale could be transmitted non-systemically from infected to uninfected Dermacentor variabilis males while co-feeding on rabbits. Infection of ticks was determined by allowing them to transmission feed on susceptible cattle and by DNA probe and microscopy studies on salivary glands. In the second study, we tested whether the co-feeding of male and female ticks on parasitemic cattle would increase the acquisition and development of A. marginale in males. A. marginale infections in salivary glands were determined by quantitative PCR after the ticks were allowed to transmission feed on susceptible cattle. Non-systemic transmission of A. marginale did not occur from infected and uninfected ticks that fed at the same site on rabbits and, therefore, does not appear to be a means of A. marginale transmission. A. marginale infections in male ticks were not increased while co-feeding with females. Thus, co-feeding of adult Dermacentor spp. does not appear to influence the dynamics of A. marginale transmission.”
Perhaps you can find out if there is a study in your area by contacting authorities, universities or research centers.
Update: August 10, 2009
Daniel, Thanks for your research, I’ve also done a little. Here is a site where someone else is talking about a lime green tick.
I have the tele number of the Michigan State Extension Service and I’m going to give them a call tomorrow. Maybe they will be able to put me in touch with the big cheese of ticks.
I put the lime green tick in a jar and thought I had lost the jar….but…I have it and would be happy to send it to you for identification. I live in the woods about 6 miles from the closest town so I doubt that any experiments are taking place in my area.
Iron River MI
Thanks for your offer Dick, but we do not want your Tick. We doubt that we have the necessary skills to give an exact identification. If you find out any additional information, please let us know.