“Creepy, Dreadful, Wonderful Parasites” Aug. 30: A Parasitologist’s View of the World

This week's fun photograph was donated by Dr. Graham Hickling. What is the arthropod shown here? What is the name of the behavior it is displaying?

Every week, Mayo Clinic microbiologist Bobbi Pritt, M.D., posts a new case, along with the answer to the previous case. Read Dr. Pritt's blog, Parasite Wonders, and submit your answers, comments, and questions. Also, visit her website ParasiteWonders.com, which hosts an archive of classic images from cases Dr. Pritt has posted going back to 2007 (in an easy-to-search "A through Z" format) and also offers a flashcard feature.

Dr. Pritt started her blog after she completed her fellowship at Mayo Clinic in clinical microbiology. She attended the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to study parasitology for one year. During that year in England, Dr. Pritt saw some amazing cases, which she shared with her colleagues back at Mayo through her blog. Through word of mouth, people from all walks of life around the globe have become interested in Dr. Pritt’s “case of the week,” and her readership continues to grow.

Note from Dr. Pritt: All opinions expressed here are mine and not my employer's. Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as, and does not substitute for, medical advice. I do not accept medical consults from patients.


Bobbi Pritt, M.D.

Bobbi Pritt, M.D., is Director of the Clinical Parasitology Laboratory in Mayo Clinic's Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. Her research interests are in clinical parasitology, vector-borne diseases, trainee education, and appropriate test utilization.


The arthropods looks to be an Ixodes species. The behavior it is displaying is called “questing”. The tick will climb to the top of grass stems or the edge of leaves extending their front legs waiting for a host to pass by.

I would agree with Katherine Grannis. Questing seems to be the behaviour displayed. The arthropod in the picture appear to be two arthropods…one of which is a tick.

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