American Dog Tick Dermacentor variabilis
The American dog tick is often the largest and most common type of tick found in localities across North America. Although it bears the name dog tick, this blood-sucking representative of the arachnids (spiders, tick, and mites) can feed on a wide-variety of mammalian hosts including dogs, coyotes, fox, skunks, cattle, raccoons, opossum, deer, squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, and when given the opportunity, humans too. Blood meals are required before the parasite can emerge from its larval and nymph stages into adulthood. The digital image presented below is a high magnification oblique illumination view of the tick's hard exoskeleton.