Possibly Lone Star Tick

Subject:  Weird bug in georgia
Geographic location of the bug:  Middle Georgia us
Date: 09/03/2017
Time: 07:56 PM EDT
I’ve never seen a bug that looks like this could you tell me what it is please
How you want your letter signed:  Melissa


Dear Melissa,
This is definitely a blood-sucking Tick, but its striped legs seem unusual, so we attempted to try a species identification for you.  We started our identification with the Protect Yourself from Ticks page on the UGA Extension site where it states:  “Ticks are one of the most important groups of arthropods in Georgia due to their disease transmitting capabilities. In Georgia, ticks are known to transmit several diseases, with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme disease being the most common. Tularemia is a long-recognized disease also transmitted by ticks, as are the more recently recognized diseases Anaplasmosis, Human Ehrlichiosis (pronounced err-lick-e-o-sis) and Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness (STARI). Ticks can also cause infections if their mouthparts break off when they are removed from the skin and can leave persistent welts resulting from reactions to their saliva. If tick populations are high in recreation and camping areas, participation may drop off, causing monetary loss to the leisure industry. Costs to control ticks in yards and homes and on pets and people can also be significant.”  The site further elaborates:  “Three tick species are most commonly associated with humans in Georgia: the Lone Star tick(
Amblyomma americanum), American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis) and black-legged tick(Ixodes scapularis).  The Lone Star tick has unusually long mouthparts. The female has a single white spot in the middle of her back, while the white markings on the male are diffuse. Common hosts include large animals such as livestock, dogs, deer and humans as well as smaller animals such as birds and rodents. Lone Star ticks are particularly common in brushy, bottomland areas where deer are prevalent.”  Because of the “single white spot in the middle of her back” we believe your tick is a female Lone Star Tick, but we might be wrong.  The Georgia Department of Health also recognizes the same three common Ticks in Georgia, and states:  “Lone Star Tick (Amblyomma americanum) Most common tick in Georgia.  Transmits the bacteria that cause human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME) and southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI).”  Despite that information, the striped legs still have our curious.   We did locate images of striped legged Lone Star Ticks including this BugGuide image and this BugGuide image.


2 thoughts on “Possibly Lone Star Tick”

  1. Many state or local health departments will identify ticks for free. I only had to put it in a small zip lock baggie, an envelope and mail it . I live in WA. If it was on somebody or a dog, take the picture with you if you go to a dr. or a vet if you aren’t feeling well. If it was on a dog, your vet would probably be willing to i.d. it. They can’t do it if it was on a person.


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