Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Engorged blacklegged tick larvae

Tick eggs hatch into larvae that have 3 pairs of legs (unlike the nymphs and adults that have 4 pairs). Larvae feed once on a host such as a mouse, usually in late summer, at which point they are refered to as "engorged".

These engorged larvae, full of mouse blood, will molt in nymphs within a few weeks.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Updated map of blacklegged tick distribution

Rebecca Eisen and colleagues from the CDC have updated the well-known Dennis et al. (1994) black-legged tick distribution map.  Data for counties in several states, particularly Tennessee and Michigan, were contributed by the Lyme Gradient  team.

The distribution of tick sightings across the United States between a) 1907–1996 and b) 1907–2015  (D. T. Dennis et al., J. Med. Entomol. 1998; R. J. Eisen et al., J. Med. Entomol. 2016).
A ScienceMag story on the map includes a nice shout-out to Isis, for her PhD studies comparing the questing behavior of Northern and Southern ticks.  http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/01/lyme-disease-carrying-ticks-are-now-half-all-us-counties


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Female ticks laying their eggs in the leaf litter

These engorged female blacklegged ticks fed on deer during the first week of  November, and over the past 5 weeks have been converting the blood meal into a clutch of up to 2000 eggs.   Now they are beginning to oviposit, down in the leaf litter.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fall colors - leaves and critters

This Eastern red newt (eft life stage) blended nicely into the fall colors; seen while working on Isis' 'tick gardens' today.   Plus a fungus shot ...

Friday, July 5, 2013

Red, Rainy Georgia Clay ....

After it rains, the roads around Tall Timbers Research Station, FL, get greasy.  Sure 'nuff, Graham gets the MSU truck stuck ...

Time to call AAA; except the AAA truck immediately gets stuck too!

The second AAA truck driver to arrive is wiser to the ways of Georgia clay - he holds himself in place with winch cables strung to the roadside trees.

Then hauls both stuck vehicles back up the hill ...