This photograph depicts a dorsal view of a female lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum
. An ixodid or hard tick, A. americanum
is found through the eastern and south-central states and can transmit disease agents that affect humans, dogs, goats, and white-tailed deer. Representatives from all three of its life stages aggressively bite people in the southern U.S. Lone star ticks transmit Ehrlichia chaffeensis
and Ehrlichia ewingii
, both of which cause disease. Borrelia lonestari
, a pathogen associated with Southern tick-associated associated rash illness (STARI), also infects lone star ticks. Research suggests that up to 10% of the lone star ticks in an endemic area can be infected with any one of these pathogens. These ticks also are infected with a spotted-fever group Rickettsia
, Rickettsia amblyommii
but it is unknown at this time if this bacterium causes disease.