Nature's Place

Tick Tick

Gi’s a hug!


Nobody’s favourite animal, the tick. Except another tick, maybe.

This one is in shock after I brought it from upstairs wrapped in a tissue. It had hitched a ride home on my clothes and lucky enough I saw it before it dug in. Not so lucky a couple other times recently when one had dug in, hip and back of head. These ticks can cause paralysis and death if left long enough, the former would not be nice. The odd thing is you don’t feel them until they are dislodged and the site becomes swollen, itchy and often a running sore from some exotic bacteria.

You can see its eating gear between the two flaps, it looks to have serrated or barbed edges that make it easy to get in and difficult to get out. The flaps to either side open out for it to insert into the body and suck away, and deliver a neurotoxin at the same time. This one is a mother too.

I have seen them in the long grass, sitting at the tip with outstretched ‘arms’ waiting to embrace some passerby. These creatures have such a grip they won’t be flicked off easily, like Velcro, something to do with the little white pads on the end of the legs – I reckon.

Ambush parasites, relentless and tenacious – that’s just nature, at times – our nature. If you walk in the rainforest, or the concrete jungle, it’s only a matter of time before one grabs you – if you need the experience.

Everything has its place in our nature, that’s for sure.

You just have to deal with it when it bites. ((:

© Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

Except another tick, maybe.

16 Responses

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  1. Anna said, on 15/11/2010 at 2:26 pm

    Many moons ago when I was little something gotten under my skin, we called it tick also, but it was black and look like a tiny beetle, probably drinking my blood. I am not sure if ours were deadly too, but never know. It was about 2 mm in side when it was taken out. How big was your tick? Anna :)

    • Mark said, on 15/11/2010 at 7:21 pm

      Hello Anna. There are many kinds of Tick and most can do some damage. This one was about 5mm long.

  2. arvind said, on 11/11/2010 at 6:57 pm

    5mm in lenght .. thats quite small.. almost unnoticable if it is in your body .. … first 3 pics are superb,, i think i would end up loving insects if i keep reading ur blogs :)

    • Mark said, on 12/11/2010 at 12:23 pm

      Thanks Arvind. And why not love the insects? Beautiful colours, intriguing architecture, indispensable function and God made. ((: Plus you have lots in India?

  3. Lunar Euphoria said, on 10/11/2010 at 9:16 am

    Just what I needed today: Perspective.

    Thank you.

    • Mark said, on 10/11/2010 at 9:37 am

      Perspective, turns a problem into a difficulty. ((:

  4. Jim Cornell said, on 10/11/2010 at 4:42 am

    Ridiculously great pictures! I don’t think I ever got that small a creature that well depicted ! Great Work

    • Mark said, on 10/11/2010 at 8:24 am

      Thanks jcbugman, where’s your site?

  5. Martin Hellewell said, on 10/11/2010 at 2:35 am

    Another stunning set of pictures. Well done. If we’ve got anything that nasty here in the UK I’m glad to have avoided finding out the hard way (so far).

    What size are these things? Sometimes when I look at your pictures I can imagine the size as I’ve seen similar insects but this is a new one on me (or rather, on you…)

    Thanks again for sharing the products of your extraordinary talent.


    • Mark said, on 10/11/2010 at 8:23 am

      Thanks Martin, about 5mm body length, huge. ((: But big enough to be seen, that’s good.

  6. Joan said, on 10/11/2010 at 2:32 am

    LOL!! I am sure it was in shock Mark. Nobody in their right minds treat them like this except for the few crazy people like you and I. :) Well okay, maybe I should just speak for myself on the subject of crazy. I seem to get the feeling that people hide their children in case I come too near. :) :)

    I was about to ask about those white pads at the end so thanks for explaining.

    I have had tick fever so I must admit these are not my favourite creatures, especially the red Pepper Ticks we have here. As soon as it starts to rain, the grass is covered with them so I then tend to stick to the broader paths where at least I have less chance of getting a hitch hiker. :)

    Beautiful shots again and a lovely informative post as always. Thanks.

    Like you, the summer is here so most of my time is being spent going out to see what I can find and to be sure, I have photographed some strange creatures sofar.

    • Mark said, on 10/11/2010 at 8:21 am

      Hi Joan. Never mind what others think. The world is where we come to get sane, that’s why it looks like a madhouse to the relatively advanced – evolutionarily. ((: And one rung on the ladder, way up there, is a respect for the apparently insignificant, the simple fact of their being.

  7. Dian Miller said, on 09/11/2010 at 9:44 pm

    Thanks for the visuals. They are fantastic. Have to remember to do the thorough check after being in the woods, I got lazy last time.

    • Mark said, on 10/11/2010 at 8:19 am

      Thanks Dian, you do need to be cautious of these creatures.

  8. Ali said, on 09/11/2010 at 8:43 pm

    Extraordinary Macro job,,

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