Answer: Ixodes spp. tick
As FP from VT mentioned,
"This is an Ixodes hard tick. Could be scapularis, scutal plate is the right shape. Need to see the capitulum. If this tick came thru our lab, without the capitulum we would call it Ixodes sp. unable to r/o scapularis."
Of course, I. scapularis is a tick of concern, since it is the vector of anaplasmosis, Lyme disease, and babesiosis. It is also a possible vector of the Ehrlichia muris-like organism that was recently described from Minnesota and Wisconsin.
What is the preferred method for removing this ectoparasite?
As Anonymous said:
"Best way to remove it is grab the tick by the head using forceps and pulling straight out. Being careful not to break apart."
I showed this case as an example of the way NOT to remove a tick. Forceps will do an acceptable job, and there is no need to perform a punch biopsy (which I think we would all agree is overkill)!