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blacklegged tick larva

blacklegged tick larva

In its larval form, the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) measures just 1 millimeter in length (shown here, enlarged). In the northern United States, blacklegged tick larvae and nymphs can be found in vegetation, leaf litter, and soil alongside adults. But in the southern U.S., the larvae and nymphs aren’t found on vegetation or—as a new study finds—in leaf litter or soil either. So, when they’re not attached to their vertebrate hosts, where do they go? (Photo credit: Derek Woller, Ph.D., USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service)

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