Appearance:Appearance differs by species, but all adults are very small, roundish, with eight legs (larvae or seed ticks have six legs); 1/8 to 1/2 inch long.
Habits:Live on the bodies of mammals, birds and reptiles.
Diet:Blood; all species can swell to a considerable size after feeding.
Reproduction:Mating usually occurs while adult ticks are on the host animal;female hard ticks feed only once, and lay one large batch of up to 10,000 eggs; female soft tick will feed several times and lay 20 to 50 eggs after each meal; eggs hatch in 19 to 60 days.
Other Information:Ticks are known carriers of many serious diseases, including encephalitis, tick paralysis, typhus and Lyme disease. Adults can live over 500 days without a meal.
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