Bugs galore–love your site!!
I am IM-PRESSED with your site…..as a veterinary technician and inveterate curious person, it is absolutely invaluable and beautifully done. (the American Dog Tick, if I recall correctly, is Dermacentor variabilis. The tiny black-legged one on the bottom of your tick page is most likely one of the Deer Ticks, Ixodes.) Now, here’s one for you to help me with! Found two of these guys so far after working out in the yard, and have several bites of unknown origin as well, although I have NOT seen the bug attached to me as yet. But when I itch, I scratch, and got these guys. Eight legs, long piercing mouthparts, hard bodied (‘pop’ when I smooshed him), blood-like fluid exuded when popped. Ideas, please!! My usual references are failing me….
Pamela Alley, RVT
Thanks for the compliment. We have no idea what you sent in. Probably a Mite. We are also posting your letter on our Louse and Tick pages. Maybe if it is posted, someone else can identify it. The picture is awesome.
Update from Barry M. OConnor (05/23/2006)
Unidentified mite, maybe?… (10/07/05). This is a parasitic mite in the family Macronyssidae, genus Ornithonyssus. These are the most common “bird” or “rodent” mites you mention. These are similar to the Ophionyssus mentioned above in living in the nest material and feeding on the host blood. Ornithonyssus sylviarum (the Northern fowl mite), O. bursa (the tropical fowl mite) and O. bacoti (the tropical rat mite) all occur in California; the first two are parasites of a wide variety of birds, the last parasitizes rodents, commonly commensal rats. All readily bite people when the normal host is no longer around. The remedy is to locate the bird nest or get rid of the rat problem.