|Description:||This 2008 photograph depicted a female, Amblyomma triste from a dorsal view, as it was climbing a blade of grass.|
With its eight jointed legs, like its tick bretheren, this animal is a member of the phylum Arthropoda, and the like scorpions and spiders, the class Arachnida. Though a 2004 study in Uruguay showed A. triste to be a carrier of Rickettsia parkeri, and it is known that these arthropods do feed upon human hosts, it was not definitively determined that human rickettsioses were the result of this tick’s bite (see the link below).
A neotropical tick, A. triste is a member of the Ixodides family of “hard ticks”, whose dorsal abdominal surface is covered by a hard, chitinous shell known as a “scutum”. Marked by a reticulated symmetrical pattern, the male tick (PHIL 10881) sports a scutum which covers the entire dorsal abdominal surface. As you can plainly see in this case, the female’s scutum is much smaller, allowing for the expansion of her abdomen, which becomes engorged when ingesting her blood meal from a host.