Winter is coming....
In November 2020, these ticks were removed from a horse in Oklahoma and submitted to the parasitology lab for identification.
Images 1-3: Key features for identification.
These ticks are a brown variant of Dermacentor albipictus, or the winter tick, a one-host tick commonly found on horses and white-tailed deer in the southern region of North America. Formerly referred to as D. nigrolineatus, inornate winter ticks can be distinguished from Rhipicephalus spp. by the presence of a rectangular scutum. The ornate variant of D. albipictus more common in northern regions is often found feeding on moose, elk, and deer. In large numbers, D. albipictus contribute to poor condition and death in moose and elk. Winter ticks, as the name suggests, are most active in the fall and winter months, and have been implicated as vectors of Anaplasma marginale and Babesia duncani.
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