Photo of several potential disease carrying ticks on a human finger.

Tick Species Identification Guide


Although numerous species of ticks exist, there are only about seven species of ticks that bite and transmit diseases in humans in the United States


Blacklegged Tick (Deer Tick)

The blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis, is found mostly in the Northeast and Upper Midwest of the United States. It and the Western Blacklegged Tick are responsible for transmitting Lyme Disease. This tick species will also transmit Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, and Powassan Disease. 


American Dog Tick

The American Dog Tick, Dermacentor variabilis, is mostly found east of the Rocky Mountains and along the California coast. It mainly transmits Tularemia and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.


Lone Star Tick

The Lone Star Tick, Amyblyomma americanum, is widely distributed in the eastern half of the United States. It transmits bacteria that cause Ehrlichiosis, Tularemia, and STARI.


Gulf Coast Tick

The Gulf Coast Tick, Amyblyomma maculatum, is found along the Atlantic seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico. It it responsible for transmitting Rickettsiosis. 


Brown Dog Tick

The Brown Dog Tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, is found worldwide and transmits Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in southwestern United States.


Western Blacklegged Tick (Deer Tick)

The Western Blacklegged Tick, Ixodes Pacificus, is found along the Pacific Coast and transmits Lyme Disease and Anaplasmosis.


Rocky Mountain Wood Tick

The Rocky Mountain Wood Tick, Dermacentor andersoni, is found in the Rocky Mountain states and transmits Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Colorado Tick Fever, and Tularemia.