Monday, August 18, 2008

Answer to Case 34

Wow, what a great response I had to this case! It is a beautifully ornamented tick, so I guess I'm not too surprised that it caught people's interest.

This is a male Amblyomma variegatum, also known as the Tropical African Bont Tick. It is found in the tropics and subtropics, including some islands of the Caribbean. You might notice from the photo that it has long mouth parts. Because of this, it tends to leave large (and painful) bite wounds.

It is a vector of several organisms causing veterinary disease (such as Heartwater fever), as well as Rickettsia africae, the agent of African tick-bite fever, and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus. It may also carry a number of other viruses such as Dugbe, Thogoto, Bhanja , and Jos.

Congratulations to Karma453 for the correct answer, and to Anonymous for the follow-up answer. Also, special bonus points to F. and W. for their creative guesses that made me smile.

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