American dog tick

(Dermacentor variabilis)

Conservation Status
American dog tick
Photo by Christa Rittberg
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNA - Not Applicable

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

American dog tick is a large hard-backed tick. It occurs in the eastern United States from Maine to Georgia, west to North Dakota and central Texas. It is also common in California west of the Rocky Mountains, where it was probably introduced. It is mostly absent in between. It is found in forests, woodlands, and grassslands. They are most common in areas frequented by mammalian hosts, including roadsides, trails, and highway rest areas.

The adult female that has not fed is 316 (5 mm) in length. After engorging on blood it can be up to (15 mm) long and (10 mm) wide. Males are smaller, (3.6 mm) in length.

The body is rounded, oval, and distinctly flattened . The upper (dorsal) shield (scutum) on the female

Adults are brown to reddish-brown with whitish or yellowish markings on the scutum.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Female Body Length: to 316 (4.0 to 5.0 mm)

Male Body Length: (3.6 mm)

 
     
 

Web

 
 

 

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat and Hosts
 
 

Froests, dense woodlands, grasslands, roadsides, trails, and other areas frequently visited by mammals.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

March to November, peaking May to mid-July

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

 

 
     
 

Food

 
 

Blood of most mammals

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 24, 29, 30.
 
  5/21/2022      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common and abundant

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Arachnida (arachnids)  
  Subclass Acari (mites)  
  Superorder Parasitiformes  
 

Order

Ixodida (ticks)  
 

Superfamily

Ixodoidea  
 

Family

Ixodidae (hardbacked ticks)  
 

Genus

Dermacentor (dog ticks)  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Ixodes variabilis

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

American dog tick

wood tick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

Share your photo of this arachnid.

 
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Christa Rittberg

 
 

 

 
    American dog tick   American dog tick  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

 

 
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
Dermacentor variabilis (American Dog Tick)
Allen Chartier
  Dermacentor variabilis (American Dog Tick)  

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

Share your video of this insect.

 
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Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.
 
 

 

 
     
     
       
       
 
Other Videos
 
  American Dog or Wood Tick (Ixodidae: Dermacentor variabilis) Cleaning Pretarsal Claws
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Apr 24, 2011

What's notable here is this specimen's behavior: observe how this individual cleans its anterior pretarsal pulvilli and claws. This specimen was inadvertently collected at the Turtle River State Park, then photographed at Grand Forks, North Dakota (24 April 2011). Go here to learn more about this species: http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatu...

   
  An American Dog Tick (Dermacentor variabilis) and the Nicest Guy I've Ever Met
Mark Berman
 
   
 
About

Published on May 20, 2013

A quick story about a tick and Chris Phillips, the nicest guy I've ever met!

   
  Adult Female Dog Tick
precarious333
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on May 20, 2011

Adult Female Dermacentor variabilis (Dog tick, Wood tick, American Dog tick)

Caught this little #$*%@ attaching to my side. Luckily I caught it early. As you can see it didn't get a chance to feed.

Ticks are actually arachnids. You'll notice it has eight legs rather than six. And there are a few moments where it assumes the standard arachnid pose with the front set of legs rearing up.

To use this video in a commercial player, advertising or in broadcasts, please email Viral Spiral: contact@viralspiralgroup.com

   
  American Dog Ticks (Ixodidae: Dermacentor variabilis) Male and Female
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on May 16, 2011

The male is on the left and the female is on the right. Thank you to Jon Oliver (@Bugguide.net) for identifying these specimens: http://bugguide.net/node/view/517048 / Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (16 May 2011). Go here to learn more about this species: http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatu... / This clip was shared with Paul Gardner, Darlow Smithson Productions (London) for 'Infested!' on the Discovery Network.

   
  Wood Ticks and Deer Ticks 101
lakestv3
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 18, 2013

Hometown Happenings 6-17-13

   

 

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