Answer to Parasite Case of the Week 645: Amblyomma americanum adult female tick.
TheOracle nicely described what we are seeing here and its implications: "Given the position of the capitulum, we can immediately argue this is a hard tick (family Ixodidae). Even though we don't have a ventral picture, the number of legs, the quite long mouthparths and, more importantly, the white spot on the scutum allow us to diagnose an adult female of Amblyomma americanum, even though Minnesota isn't the expected geographic location. This may possibly reflect the tremendous effects of climate change...
TheOracle further commented that "Amblyomma americanum doesn't transmit Lyme disease; nevertheless it can transmit infections sustained by Ehrlichia, Francisella and Rickettsia species."
A. americanum is also associated with STARI and meat allergy.
Regarding the geographic location - Minnesota is not historically within the range of the Lone Star tick, but I believe that is changing with global warming. That doesn't bode well for Minnesotans, given the aggressive biting nature of both male and female Lone Star ticks! Thanks again to Seanne and Ruby for donating this case.