Virtual Microscope

Characteristics / Biology of Acarina

  • 8 legs (exception:  some  larval stages of mites and ticks have only 6 legs)
  • Ticks have capitulum («head» with mouth parts)
  • Spheric body
  • With dorsal shield (Scutum)
  • Capitulum dorsally visible
  • Palps resemble clubs
  • No coxal organs
  • Incomplete metamorphosis (hemimetabole development) (larvae look the same as adults)
  • Hosts: Wild animals and pets, human

• Medical significance: 

  • Important vectors of virus, babesia and bacteria (rickettsia, spirochete) in human and veterinary medicine

Vectors of numerous diseases; e.g.,

  • spotted fever
  • Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi)
  • tick-borne encephalitis (TBE)
  • Locale skin reactions


  • A single egg laying (thousands of eggs)
  • 1 nymphal stage
  • One blood meal; can last for several weeks
  • few hosts
  • widespread distribution