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Parasites

Arachnids

Another prominent class of arthropods that contains parasitic species is the arachnids. Though this group is more commonly known for spiders and scorpions, its parasitic members include ticks and mites.

Mites are very small arachnids that infest both plants and animals. One common type is chiggers, which live in grasses and, as larva, grab onto passing animals and attach themselves to the skin, often leading to irritating rashes or bite wounds. Scabies are another mite that causes mange in some mammals by burrowing into the skin and producing severe scabs, lesions, and loss of hair.

Ticks also live their adult lives among grasses and short shrubs. They are typically larger than mites, and it is the adult female that attaches itself to an animal host for a blood meal. Tick bites themselves can be painful and irritating. More importantly, ticks can carry a number of diseases that affect humans. The most common of these include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Colorado tick fever, and the latest occurrence of tick-borne infections: Lyme disease.


Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Overdamped to PeatParasites - The Study Of Parasites, Protozoa, Nematodes (roundworms), Cestodes (tapeworms), Trematodes (flukes) - Helminths, Arthropods