CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Hard Tick (Family: Ixodidae)
Ticks are not insects (Class Insecta),a but relatives of spiders and other Arachnids (Class Arachnida). Usually 8 legs and no
antenna. (larva can have fewer legs).
This guy was engorged having feasted on my English Setter (Elliot). I’ve probably had more tics than the dogs, but luckily I
find them before they dig in.
I thought possible something in the Ixodes genus which includes deer ticks, but I’m leaning more toward American Dog Tick (Dermacentor variabilis) because it seemed larger than a deer tick. Unfortunately I didn’t get any shots of the underside which would have been helpful for a firm identification (who knew?)
I also think it is just turning from larva to a nymph since I can only see 6 legs. “Dermacentor variabilis develops from the egg stage, to the 6-legged larva, to the 8-legged nymph, and finally to the adult.” source UF Dept of Entomology
Can cause paralysis in dogs and/or several other diseases. Make sure you get the whole tick out when doing removal and monitor site for infection for several days after removal!
After removal, I burn them (sorry tick) to be sure they are dead since after a blood meal a female tick can lay as many as 4000-6500 eggs.