> “I admire ticks for their survivability and adaptability. They are so good at exploiting a niche where they just need to wait for a long time to get the next meal.”
An entomologist at Binghamton University kept a group of African soft ticks alive in a lab for 27 years (including 8 years of no food)—and their offspring are still going at age 26.
More about soft ticks, plus pics
The ticks most people are familiar with are hard ticks (family Ixodidae). Soft ticks (family Argasidae) look sort of like wrinkly little pancakes, with legs. They don't stick onto hosts; many are parasites of birds and bats, living nearby and taking quick trips to feed.
Some soft ticks are common in the poultry industry. They are not really a public health concern like with hard ticks—some *can* carry pathogens but it seems they rarely transmit them to humans.
Here's some good pictures of soft ticks from a chicken coop: https://twitter.com/Bertonemyia/status/1248374466867941376
And one of them with eggs, & larvae: https://twitter.com/Bertonemyia/status/1278712457867952128
As you can tell from replies, most entomologists/arachnologists are super jazzed to find soft ticks as they are not often encountered.
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