Global menu

  • June 19, 2024

Which arthropods are most often confused with ticks?

  • Insectarium
Blacklegged ticks
Photo: Espace pour la vie / André-Philippe Drapeau Picard
Blacklegged ticks
  • Blacklegged ticks
  • Not ticks

The study, entitled “I ‘Tick,’ Therefore I Am: Which Arthropods Are Misidentified as Ticks by the General Public?,” led by André-Philippe Drapeau Picard, research officer at the Insectarium, in collaboration with Jérémie Bouffard and Jade Savage from Bishop’s University, focuses on this question.

Using data derived from the community-science program eTick, the entomologists identified a number of arthropods that the public frequently mistakes for ticks. Among the ones most often wrongly identified as ticks are spider beetles, weevils, Japanese beetles and pseudoscorpions.

The results of the study underscore the importance of raising public awareness regarding the lesser-known arthropod species and of improving tick identification tools.

The black-legged tick is the primary vector of Lyme disease in humans

It’s important to be able to distinguish ticks from other arthropods – in particular the black-legged tick, because this species is the primary vector of Lyme disease in humans. Unlike insects, which have three pairs of legs, ticks have four, except in larval stage. In addition, they lack both wings and antennae, and their bodies aren’t segmented into three distinct parts.

Community-science programs

Community science plays an essential role in the study of biodiversity. By sharing thousands of observations through a variety of programs, citizens help us monitor species distribution over time and space. These data are invaluable for scientists: they make it possible to explore a region’s biological diversity, to study introduced and protected species, and to better understand ecological dynamics on a local and worldwide scale.

Community science: hitting three targets with one stone

Add this