Ticks: Example of a Soft Tick

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Arthropods and the Clinical Laboratory. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Ticks: Example of a Soft Tick

Soft Ticks
  • Soft (Argasid) Ticks may transmit Borrelia spirochetes (causing tick-borne relapsing fever).
  • Soft ticks are only intermittent blood feeders, and so humans may not come into contact with these ticks as often as hard ticks.
  • Soft ticks are not usually submitted to clinical laboratories.
  • Be aware that blood engorged hard ticks might be confused with soft ticks.
5. CDC. Image# 6039. "This illustration depicts two views of an Argasid soft tick, a dorsal view on the left, and a ventral view on the right. The dorsal view reveals the absence of a hard scutum, while the ventral view shows how the tick’s capitulum, though anterior, is situated on its ventral surface, and their spiracular plates lie behind their third pair of legs." PHIL public domain. Created 1976. https://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid=6039
6. CDC. Image# 16491. "This image depicts a dorsal view of a member of the Argasidae family of North American soft ticks, though its genus was not identified." PHIL public domain. Created 1953. https://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid=16491

Soft tick anatomy. (5)
Soft tick. (6)